View synonyms for beset


[ bih-set ]

verb (used with object)

, be·set, be·set·ting.
  1. to attack on all sides; assail.
  2. to trouble greatly or grievously; to afflict with mental or physical suffering; harass: Even as he was being beset with disasters, he triumphed.

    The best ideas are often beset by bureaucratic hurdles.

    Even as he was being beset with disasters, he triumphed.

  3. to surround; hem in:

    The village was beset on all sides by dense forest.

    Our work will be beset with dangers.

    Synonyms: besiege, enclose, encircle, trouble, torment, persecute, bedevil, afflict, harass, assault

  4. to set or place upon; bestud:

    The gold bracelet she found was beset with jewels.

    Synonyms: ornament, decorate, stud

  5. Nautical. to surround (a vessel) by ice, so that control of the helm is lost.


/ bɪˈsɛt /


  1. (esp of dangers, temptations, or difficulties) to trouble or harass constantly
  2. to surround or attack from all sides
  3. archaic.
    to cover with, esp with jewels

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Derived Forms

  • beˈsetter, noun
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Other Words From

  • be·set·ment noun
  • be·set·ter noun
  • pre·be·set verb (used with object) prebeset prebesetting
  • un·be·set adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of beset1

First recorded before 1000; from Middle English besetten, Old English besettan. See be-, set
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Example Sentences

In a suburb beset by racial inequities, lawmakers aren’t sure.

Yet because this outfit has been so beset by so many off-the-field issues for so long, the progress off the field right now is as important.

Cohen’s takeover of the Mets from the Wilpon family was cast as a new era for a franchise often beset by dysfunction and internal intrigue.

Procedural fixes helped prevent the problems that had beset the 1800 election.

There were reports that Project Titan had been beset by internal strife and management disagreements over exactly what kind of car to make and how far toward autonomous driving the company should push.

From Fortune

I suspect that the new Tarzan will run into the same problems that beset the recent Lone Ranger remake.

We may be beset by deep political divisions, but the moderate, outward-looking center is large; not a fringe section of society.

Stringer depicts a country that is beset by complications of both past imperialism and current globalism.

India, for example, is still very poor and beset by many ethnic and religious divides, yet has a thriving democracy.

The downstairs portion of the Democratic base is increasingly beset by debt and disillusion.

He was beset by his sensitive dislike to mix in other people's affairs, but almost angrily he overcame it.

But while everything seemed so favourable the crafty Gascon from the first foresaw the dangers which beset his path.

But children came and died too quickly for her health and fragile beauty, and the storms of life beset her.

An armed force beset the palace of the Tuilleries, and demanded the arrest of the Brissotine party.

He was extremely anxious to make no mistakes at the outset of his new career, beset with difficulties enough.





Beseleelset in one's ways, be