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[bih-lee-ger] /bɪˈli gər/
verb (used with object)
to surround with military forces.
to surround or beset, as with troubles.
Origin of beleaguer
1580-90; be- + leaguer1
Related forms
beleaguerer, noun
2. harass, pester, badger, bother, vex, annoy, plague, hector. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for beleaguer
Historical Examples
  • Before God can make her in truth His own, make her verify her name, He will have to beleaguer and reduce her.

  • In his tragedy of Ezelino, after the tyrant's downfall, a captain is sent to beleaguer Treviso, and reduce Ezelino's garrison.

  • And yet I cannot think that any Scottish or French rovers could land in such force as to beleaguer the fortalice.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Somehow that seemed to make her matter less, and Dodo had not at present made any determined effort to beleaguer her.

    Dodo's Daughter E. F. Benson
  • Make a detour through some pass, forestall your foes, beleaguer them, protect our troops!

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke
  • For Edward took his army to beleaguer Calais, and after blockading it for nearly a year forced it to surrender.

  • Should we have to beleaguer it we may count upon some help from within.'

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • They, however, continued to beleaguer the place, occasionally showing in great masses.

    Our Sailors W.H.G. Kingston
  • Having pardoned their offences against ourselves, we went back to beleaguer Samarkand.

    The Bbur-nma in English Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
British Dictionary definitions for beleaguer


verb (transitive)
to trouble persistently; harass
to lay siege to
Word Origin
C16: from be- + leaguer1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beleaguer

1580s, from Dutch or Low German belegeren "to besiege," from be- "around" (see be-) + legeren "to camp," from leger "bed, camp, army, lair," from Proto-Germanic *leg-raz-, from PIE *legh-to- "lie" (see lie (v.2)). A word from the Flemish Wars (cf. Swedish belägra, Dutch belegeren "besiege," German Belagerung "siege"). Spelling influenced by league. Related: Beleaguered; beleaguering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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