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verb (used with object)
  1. to surround with military forces.
  2. to surround or beset, as with troubles.
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Origin of beleaguer

First recorded in 1580–90; be- + leaguer1
Related formsbe·lea·guer·er, noun

Synonyms for beleaguer

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

Related Words for beleaguer

beset, bedevil, plague, annoy, gnaw, nag, tease, bother, pester, vex, blockade, persecute, storm, harry, worry, badger, siege

Examples from the Web for beleaguer

Historical Examples of beleaguer

  • Should we have to beleaguer it we may count upon some help from within.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Make a detour through some pass, forestall your foes, beleaguer them, protect our troops!

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • And yet I cannot think that any Scottish or French rovers could land in such force as to beleaguer the fortalice.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Having pardoned their offences against ourselves, we went back to beleaguer Samarkand.

    The Bbur-nma in English

    Babur, Emperor of Hindustan

  • In his tragedy of Ezelino, after the tyrant's downfall, a captain is sent to beleaguer Treviso, and reduce Ezelino's garrison.

British Dictionary definitions for beleaguer


verb (tr)
  1. to trouble persistently; harass
  2. to lay siege to
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Word Origin for beleaguer

C16: from be- + leaguer 1
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 beleaguer


1580s, from Dutch or Low German belegeren "to besiege," from be- "around" (see be-) + legeren "to camp," from leger "bed, camp, army, lair," from Proto-Germanic *leg-raz-, from PIE *legh-to- "lie" (see lie (v.2)). A word from the Flemish Wars (cf. Swedish belägra, Dutch belegeren "besiege," German Belagerung "siege"). Spelling influenced by league. Related: Beleaguered; beleaguering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper