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siege

[seej]
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. any prolonged or persistent effort to overcome resistance.
  3. a series of illnesses, troubles, or annoyances besetting a person or group: a siege of head colds.
  4. a prolonged period of trouble or annoyance.
  5. Also sedge. Ornithology.
    1. a flock of herons.
    2. the station of a heron at prey.
  6. the shelf or floor of a glassmaking furnace on which the glass pots are set.
  7. Obsolete.
    1. a seat, especially one used by a person of distinction, as a throne.
    2. station as to rank or class.
verb (used with object), sieged, sieg·ing.
  1. to assail or assault; besiege.
Idioms
  1. lay siege to, to besiege: The army laid siege to the city for over a month.

Origin of siege

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
Related formssiege·a·ble, adjectiveun·sieged, adjective

Synonyms

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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for siege

siege

noun
    1. the offensive operations carried out to capture a fortified place by surrounding it, severing its communications and supply lines, and deploying weapons against it
    2. (as modifier)siege warfare
  1. a persistent attempt to gain something
  2. a long tedious period, as of illness, etc
  3. obsolete a seat or throne
  4. lay siege to to besiege
verb
  1. (tr) to besiege or assail

Word Origin

C13: from Old French sege a seat, from Vulgar Latin sēdicāre (unattested) to sit down, from Latin sedēre
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

Word Origin and History for siege

n.

early 13c., "a seat" (as in Siege Perilous, early 13c., the vacant seat at Arthur's Round Table, according to prophecy to be occupied safely only by the knight destined to find the Holy Grail), from Old French sege "seat, throne," from Vulgar Latin *sedicum "seat," from Latin 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