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beleaguer

[bih-lee-ger]
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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

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2. harass, pester, badger, bother, vex, annoy, plague, hector.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for beleaguered

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then first, not when alone in the beleaguered city, he knew desolation.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • Thus the sun set on Rome beleaguered, the barbarians outside the City.

    Theodoric the Goth

    Thomas Hodgkin

  • In 1279 the last stronghold of the Sungs was beleaguered by land and sea.

  • His impression that first afternoon had been true—she was beleaguered, if not lost.

  • Not a man of them was known to any member of the beleaguered garrison.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves


British Dictionary definitions for beleaguered

beleaguer

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

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 beleaguered

beleaguer

v.

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