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verb (used with object), be·sieged, be·sieg·ing.
  1. to lay siege to.
  2. to crowd around; crowd in upon; surround: Vacationers besieged the travel office.
  3. to assail or ply, as with requests or demands.
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Origin of besiege

First recorded in 1250–1300, besiege is from the Middle English word bysegen. See be-, siege
Related formsbe·siege·ment, nounbe·sieg·er, nounbe·sieg·ing·ly, adverbun·be·sieged, adjective

Synonyms for besiege

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

Related Words for besiege

encircle, beleaguer, beset, blockade, trap, harass, hound, plague, pester, invest, attack, congregate, environ, assail, encompass, confine, nag, importune, harry, trouble

Examples from the Web for besiege

Historical Examples of besiege

  • Antony of Bourbon headed an army of the Catholics to besiege the city.

    Henry IV, Makers of History

    John S. C. Abbott

  • So it was with Montgomery, for he was enabled to besiege the fort in both ways.

  • With what passion, what entreaties, what tears did she besiege the throne!

    A Handful of Stars

    Frank W. Boreham

  • I first besiege their hearts with flattery, and then pour in my proposals at the breach.

    The Vicar of Wakefield

    Oliver Goldsmith

  • Notwithstanding the strength of the fortress, William resolved to besiege it.

British Dictionary definitions for besiege


verb (tr)
  1. to surround (a fortified area, esp a city) with military forces to bring about its surrender
  2. to crowd round; hem in
  3. to overwhelm, as with requests or queries
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Derived Formsbesieger, 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

Word Origin and History for besiege


c.1300, from be- + siege. Related: Besieged; besieging.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper