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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
First recorded in 1250-1300, besiege is from the Middle English word 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for besieger
Historical Examples
  • He had been entirely uncomplex in his attitude, sitting down before his problem as a besieger might have sat down before a castle.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • It seems that the besieger, the heroine of the story if you may call her so, had a past.

  • In fact, in Paris he has half promised the besieger not to say anything about her past.

  • The besieger of London, feeling that her game is up, leaves them together.

  • A short distance away stood the house of a friend of his father, and upon that the besieger turned his attack.

    William Sharp (Fiona Macleod) Elizabeth A. Sharp
  • In affairs of love, though he was impetuous as a besieger, he was proud as a conqueror.

    Vie de Bohme Orlo Williams
  • They were besieged, but in no danger for the time of a closer acquaintance with the besieger.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
  • By the 15th of November the besieger's works had scarcely made any progress.

    Annals of a Fortress E. Viollet-le-Duc
  • But on the night of the 20th February the plans of the besieger had to be modified.

    Annals of a Fortress E. Viollet-le-Duc
  • She was one of the many favorites of Demetrius the besieger.

    Greek Women Mitchell Carroll
British Dictionary definitions for besieger


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 besieger



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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