1. Literally, to attack someone with a weapon. A person's name or a pronoun can be used between "assail" and "with." The robber assailed her with a knife. I was assailed with a brick by the carjacker.
2. By extension, to overwhelm or irritate someone with something. A person's name or a pronoun can be used between "assail" and "with." Because finals are approaching, my students are constantly assailing me with questions. I'm always assailed with tasks from my boss.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
assail someone with something
1. Lit. to attack someone with something, such as a weapon. The crook assailed the officer with the officer's own club. The riot police were assailed with stones and bottles.
2. Fig. to pester or annoy someone with questions, requests, demands, etc. Don't assail me with all your complaints. She assailed herself with constant guilty rebukes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.