verb (besetting; past and past participle beset)[with object]
- 1(Of a problem or difficulty) trouble (someone or something) persistently: the social problems that beset the UK she was beset with self-doubtMore example sentences
- Agencies are fighting to get boats in the harbour to take them to the marooned populations, but negotiations are also beset with difficulties.
- But the effectiveness of schemes of this kind is unproven, and in today's world of unfettered trade flows, their implementation is often beset with legal difficulties.
- Britain's nationalised rail system was always beset with major difficulties.
- 1.1Surround and harass: I was beset by clouds of fliesMore example sentences
- The children, in this region, are besieged by AIDS and beset by hunger.
- Their path was soon beset by swarms of Aztecs, who rolled down rocks from the eminences, and grievously annoyed them with missiles.
- We were beset by swarms of agitated wasps.
- 1.2Hem in: the ship was beset by ice and finally sankMore example sentences
- The ship became beset in the ice of the Weddell Sea on 18 January 1915 and was crushed and sank on 21 November.
- She remains an orphan girl, and, as such, she partakes of the tradition of the orphan girl in the movies: outcast, woebegone, beset on all sides, but plucky and triumphant in the end.
- The Polar Duke, our ice-worthy Norwegian vessel, was immobilized - beset, to use the correct nautical term - by enormous sheets of sea ice.
- 2 (be beset with) • archaic Be covered or studded with: springy grass all beset with tiny jewel-like flowersMore example sentences
- For millennia people have been adorning themselves with colorful accessories, made of precious metals, beset with jewels, and decorated with wonderful patterns.
- On the upper part of the chariot lay an effigy, representing his person in royal robes, with an imperial crown of gold, beset with jewels of an inestimable value on its head, with a sceptre in the right hand, and a globe in the left.
- And when she opened it, she found garments beset with gold and with jewels, more splendid than those of any king's daughter.
- A fault to which a person or institution is especially prone: there was a danger of the country reverting to its besetting sin of complacencyMore example sentences
- Condoned truancy and absence is one of the besetting sins of the education service.
- In her book, the author says: ‘Pride is the besetting sin of the anorexic: pride in her self-denial, in her thin body, in her superiority.
- The author asserts that they have difficulty in dealing with temptations and besetting sins because ‘they are both at peace in the world and divided among themselves’.