follow Dictionary.com

Hone in vs. home in? What's the difference?

besetting

[bih-set-ing] /bɪˈsɛt ɪŋ/
adjective
1.
constantly assailing or obsessing, as with temptation:
a besetting sin.
Origin of besetting
1540-1550
1540-50; beset + -ing2

beset

[bih-set] /bɪˈsɛt/
verb (used with object), beset, besetting.
1.
to attack on all sides; assail; harass:
to be beset by enemies; beset by difficulties.
2.
to surround; hem in:
a village beset on all sides by dense forest.
3.
to set or place upon; bestud:
a gold bracelet beset with jewels.
4.
Nautical. to surround (a vessel) by ice, so that control of the helm is lost.
Origin
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
Synonyms
2. encircle, enclose, besiege, beleaguer. 3. stud, decorate, ornament.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for besetting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the besetting fear that he was leaving Di to face something alone, Bobby had arrived.

    Miss Lulu Bett Zona Gale
  • For all the agitation that must have been besetting him, his manner was serene as ever.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • Now Beatrice, well as she knew Dante's propensity to love, knew as well that pride was even more of a besetting weakness of his.

  • For the besetting irresoluteness of the Gumthorpes is consuming him.

  • How well Miss Preston was aware of their besetting sins, and how shrewdly did she use them to their undoing.

    Caps and Capers Gabrielle E. Jackson
  • But if a quick temper was Roger's besetting sin, pig-headedness was Ernest's.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • As if I did not know that curiosity is my besetting sin, without being reminded of it in that brutal way!

    A Lady of Rome F. Marion Crawford
  • Like the State, dignity is Mrs. Swiggs' weakness—her besetting sin.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • Alcala had been brought up in aristocratic seclusiveness, and his besetting sin was pride.

    The Spanish Cavalier Charlotte Maria Tucker
British Dictionary definitions for besetting

besetting

/bɪˈsɛtɪŋ/
adjective
1.
tempting, harassing, or assailing (esp in the phrase besetting sin)

beset

/bɪˈsɛt/
verb (transitive) -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
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 besetting

beset

v.

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 besetting

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for besetting

12
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for besetting