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besetting

[bih-set-ing] /bɪˈsɛt ɪŋ/
adjective
1.
constantly assailing or obsessing, as with temptation:
a besetting sin.
Origin
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. 2014.
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Examples for besetting
  • However, there are other issues besetting the fortunes of these green machines, according to the study.
  • He also found time to keep up with political problems besetting the new nation.
  • His besetting sin heretofore has been opening his mouth.
  • Where temptation to fall into the besetting sins of tourists is great, the merit of avoiding them is equally great.
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
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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
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