lay siege to


the act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies, for the purpose of lessening the resistance of the defenders and thereby making capture possible.
any prolonged or persistent effort to overcome resistance.
a series of illnesses, troubles, or annoyances besetting a person or group: a siege of head colds.
a prolonged period of trouble or annoyance.
Also, sedge. Ornithology.
a flock of herons.
the station of a heron at prey.
the shelf or floor of a glassmaking furnace on which the glass pots are set.
a seat, especially one used by a person of distinction, as a throne.
station as to rank or class.
verb (used with object), sieged, sieging.
to assail or assault; besiege.
lay siege to, to besiege: The army laid siege to the city for over a month.

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English sege < Old French: seat, noun derivative of siegier < Vulgar Latin *sedicāre to set, derivative of Latin sedēre to sit1; (v.) Middle English segen, derivative of the noun

siegeable, adjective
unsieged, adjective

1. Siege, blockade are terms for prevention of free movement to or from a place during wartime. Siege implies surrounding a city and cutting off its communications, and usually includes direct assaults on its defenses. Blockade is applied more often to naval operations that block all commerce, especially to cut off food and other supplies from defenders. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
siege (siːdʒ)
1.  a.  the offensive operations carried out to capture a fortified place by surrounding it, severing its communications and supply lines, and deploying weapons against it
 b.  (as modifier): siege warfare
2.  a persistent attempt to gain something
3.  a long tedious period, as of illness, etc
4.  obsolete a seat or throne
5.  lay siege to to besiege
6.  (tr) to besiege or assail
[C13: from Old French sege a seat, from Vulgar Latin sēdicāre (unattested) to sit down, from Latin sedēre]

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

early 13c., "a seat" (as in Siege Perilous, the vacant seat at Arthur's Round Table, to be occupied safely only by the knight destined to find the Holy Grail, c.1230), from O.Fr. sege "seat, throne," from V.L. *sedicum "seat," from L. sedere "sit" (see sedentary). The
military sense is attested from c.1300; the notion is of an army "sitting down" before a fortress.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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