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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 besiegers
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But this cannot be, for he says expressly that he was one of the besiegers.


    James Anthony Froude
  • If he were once in command of that knoll, the besiegers at its foot would be forced to retire.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • If a gun was fired from the Alamo, one of the besiegers was sure to fall.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • The besiegers were gathering; the world was watching, expectant of the grimmer struggle.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • The French artillery was very powerful and, at times, overpowered that of the besiegers.

  • Should the besiegers enter, all hope of escape would be over.

  • It was quite as great an advantage to the besiegers as it was to the besieged.

    From Fort Henry to Corinth Manning Ferguson Force
  • The besiegers were stupefied as they gazed, and stopped their ears.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • The besiegers, however, got reinforcements and the struggle was continued.

British Dictionary definitions for besiegers


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 besiegers



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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