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.

before 1000; Middle English besetten, Old English besettan. See be-, set

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beset (bɪˈsɛt)
vb , -sets, -setting, -set
1.  (esp of dangers, temptations, or difficulties) to trouble or harass constantly
2.  to surround or attack from all sides
3.  archaic to cover with, esp with jewels

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. besettan "to put, place; own, keep; cover, surround with, besiege," from P.Gmc. *bisatjan (cf. O.S. bisettjan, Ger. besetzen, Goth. bisatjan); see be- + set (v.). The figurative sense also was in O.E.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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