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siege Line breaks: siege
Pronunciation: /siːdʒ/

Definition of siege in English:


1A military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender: Verdun had withstood a siege of ten weeks [as modifier]: siege warfare
More example sentences
  • In the American civil war the sieges of Vicksburg and Petersburg saw trench warfare on a localized scale, and the same was true of the siege of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese war.
  • After more than a month of siege warfare, Pemberton surrendered to Grant on 4 July 1863.
  • Stalingrad, besides being the turning-point of the war on the Eastern Front, was also a reminder that an ancient form of land warfare, the siege, was by no means obsolete.
1.1An operation in which a police or other force surround a building and cut off supplies, with the aim of forcing an armed person to surrender: two cult members have died so far in the four-day siege
More example sentences
  • A man whose life fell apart after he sparked a dramatic armed police siege with a toy weapon said today: ‘Throw away your guns.’
  • I yearn for those days when everything was full of wonder and fun, when kids could play cowboys and Indians in the street with toy guns that did not cause an armed police siege.
  • A man who held a woman against her will through a 12-hour armed police siege today faces a life sentence.


Middle English: from Old French sege, from asegier 'besiege'.


lay siege to

Conduct a siege of (a place): government forces laid siege to the building figurative the press laid siege to her flat
More example sentences
  • After the battle the English expeditionary force landed and laid siege to Rounai.
  • The Takeda army that laid siege to Nagashino castle consisted of 15,000 men, of whom 12,000 took part in the subsequent battle.
  • The objective was to silence the forts so that minesweepers could clear the minefields to allow the fleet to force the Dardanelles and lay siege to Constantinople (now Istanbul).

under siege

(Of a place) undergoing a siege: the fort had been under siege by guerrillas since June figurative we are under siege from budget cuts
More example sentences
  • Against his instructions, he elected to stay and defend the capital, Khartoum, which came under siege from the Mahdi in May 1884.
  • Manstein believed three or four divisions could keep the fortress under siege.
  • At the time it felt like we were surrounded by an army, properly under siege.

Words that rhyme with siege

besiege, liege, prestige

Definition of siege in:

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