Why was clemency trending last week?


[bih-set] /bɪˈsɛt/
verb (used with object), beset, besetting.
to attack on all sides; assail; harass:
to be beset by enemies; beset by difficulties.
to surround; hem in:
a village beset on all sides by dense forest.
to set or place upon; bestud:
a gold bracelet beset with jewels.
Nautical. to surround (a vessel) by ice, so that control of the helm is lost.
Origin of beset
before 1000; Middle English besetten, Old English besettan. See be-, set
Related forms
besetment, noun
besetter, noun
prebeset, verb (used with object), prebeset, prebesetting.
unbeset, adjective
2. encircle, enclose, besiege, beleaguer. 3. stud, decorate, ornament. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for beset
  • The country is beset by a shortage of universities for the growing number of students who want to attend.
  • beset from all sides, there will be no immediate deportations, though the government insists its policy has not changed.
  • She tells me about her former life and her current one, beset now with some health concerns, but she takes this all in stride.
  • The big screen has been beset by bugs since the beginning.
  • It has been beset by hoaxes and remains shrouded in confusion, but quantum computing is no pipe dream.
  • Academic libraries have been beset by changes that have led some observers to wonder.
  • Similar problems have beset other private-equity firms that have gone public.
  • But that fail-safe device had itself been beset by leaks and maintenance problems.
  • We are beset by headlines about disease risks and what certain medications can do.
  • The school has been beset with repeat changes of deans resulting in total lack of coordination.
British Dictionary definitions for beset


verb (transitive) -sets, -setting, -set
(esp of dangers, temptations, or difficulties) to trouble or harass constantly
to surround or attack from all sides
(archaic) to cover with, esp with jewels
Derived Forms
besetter, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for beset

Old English besettan "to put, place; own, keep; occupy, settle; cover, surround with, besiege," from Proto-Germanic *bisatjan (cf. Old Saxon bisettjan, Dutch bezetten, Old High German bisezzan, German besetzen, Gothic bisatjan); see be- + set (v.). The figurative sense also was in Old English. Related: Beset (past tense); besetting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for beset

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for beset

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with beset

Nearby words for beset