[ bih-set ]
/ bɪˈsɛt /

verb (used with object), be·set, be·set·ting.

to attack on all sides; assail; harass: to be beset by enemies; beset by difficulties.
to surround; hem in: a village beset on all sides by dense forest.
to set or place upon; bestud: a gold bracelet beset with jewels.
Nautical. to surround (a vessel) by ice, so that control of the helm is lost.

Origin of beset

before 1000; Middle English besetten, Old English besettan. See be-, set


be·set·ment, nounbe·set·ter, nounpre·be·set, verb (used with object), pre·be·set, pre·be·set·ting.un·be·set, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for besetment

  • For since he had come out of prison he was every day more subject to this besetment of recalling the past.

    The Prisoner|Alice Brown
  • From that time she steadily fought against her deadly sin, until its besetment lost all power over her.

    For John's Sake|Annie Frances Perram
  • After a besetment of twenty-four days, Iberville succeeded in extricating his vessel from the ice and passed into the bay.

    Explorers and Travellers|Adolphus W. Greely
  • And the curious part of the besetment is that I have known all along that I was killing your love for me.

British Dictionary definitions for besetment

/ (bɪˈsɛt) /

verb -sets, -setting or -set (tr)

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

Derived forms of beset

besetter, noun
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