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in law, an attempt or threat, going beyond mere words, to use violence, with the intent and the apparent ability to do harm to another. If violent contact actually occurs, the offense of batterybattery,
in criminal and tort law, the unpermitted touching of any part of the person of another, or of anything worn, carried by, or intimately associated at that moment (as a chair being sat on) with another.
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 has been committed; modern criminal statutes often combine assault and battery. An assault may be both a crime and a torttort,
in law, the violation of some duty clearly set by law, not by a specific agreement between two parties, as in breach of contract. When such a duty is breached, the injured party has the right to institute suit for compensatory damages.
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, for which the party assaulted may sue for damages; the victim's freedom, as to move or remain at peace, must have been impinged on. Modern criminal statutes recognize certain degrees of assault (e.g., with intent to kill, to do great bodily harm, to rape) as aggravated assaults and felonies, though simple assault remains, as at common lawcommon law,
system of law that prevails in England and in countries colonized by England. The name is derived from the medieval theory that the law administered by the king's courts represented the common custom of the realm, as opposed to the custom of local jurisdiction that
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, a misdemeanor. Either malevolence or recklessness (as in driving a car in reckless disregard of human life) may constitute the intent necessary to assault in most jurisdictions.


See W. L. Prosser, Handbook of the Law of Torts (3d ed. 1964).


Final phase of an attack; closing with the enemy in hand-to-hand fighting.
The landing of troops for attack on the enemy's beach defenses.
The landing of parachute and glider elements on unsecured and unprepared drop zones and landing zones to attack and seize an airhead.
A short, violent, but well-ordered attack against a local objective, such as a gun emplacement, fort, or machine gun nest.


famous horse in history of thoroughbred racing. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1273]
See: Horse


Law an intentional or reckless act that causes another person to expect to be subjected to immediate and unlawful violence