verb (used with object)

to surround with military forces.
to surround or beset, as with troubles.

Origin of beleaguer

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

Synonyms for beleaguer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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)

to trouble persistently; harass
to lay siege to

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper