What's the difference between an assault & battery?

The terms “assault” and “battery” usually are heard used together, but they are distinct charges. An assault is defined as a threat of violence caused by an immediate show of force. Contrary to what many think, physical contact is not necessary for an assault. An assault occurs when a stranger points a gun at another stranger, who then feels threatened. A battery requires physical contact with the intent of causing harm. A battery can be something as simple as spitting on someone. The reason you hear these terms frequently coupled is they typically happen one after the other.