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[bih-seej] /bɪˈsidʒ/
verb (used with object), besieged, besieging.
to lay siege to.
to crowd around; crowd in upon; surround:
Vacationers besieged the travel office.
to assail or ply, as with requests or demands.
Origin of besiege
1250-1300; Middle English bysegen. See be-, siege
Related forms
besiegement, noun
besieger, noun
besiegingly, adverb
unbesieged, adjective
3. beset, pester, harass, harry, hound. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for besiege
Historical Examples
  • Having collected a large army Heracles set out for Eubœa in order to besiege Œchalia, its capital.

  • Antony of Bourbon headed an army of the Catholics to besiege the city.

    Henry IV, Makers of History John S. C. Abbott
  • Another fleet, on its way to besiege Lilybæum, in the same year, was lost off Cape Pactyrus.

    The Art of War Baron Henri de Jomini
  • So it was with Montgomery, for he was enabled to besiege the fort in both ways.

  • After its capture, with the Mississippi open to supply the two armies, they were to unite and besiege Vicksburg.

    Our Standard-Bearer Oliver Optic
  • With what passion, what entreaties, what tears did she besiege the throne!

    A Handful of Stars Frank W. Boreham
  • He commenced landing troops in Italy, threatening to besiege Rome.

  • I first besiege their hearts with flattery, and then pour in my proposals at the breach.

    The Vicar of Wakefield Oliver Goldsmith
  • Advancing therefore with a large army, he prepared to besiege Champa, the capital city.

    Hindoo Tales Translated by P. W. Jacob
  • Notwithstanding the strength of the fortress, William resolved to besiege it.

    The Huguenots in France Samuel Smiles.
British Dictionary definitions for besiege


verb (transitive)
to surround (a fortified area, esp a city) with military forces to bring about its surrender
to crowd round; hem in
to overwhelm, as with requests or queries
Derived Forms
besieger, 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 besiege

c.1300, from be- + siege. Related: Besieged; besieging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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