Definition of besiege in English:

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Pronunciation: /bəˈsēj/


[with object]
1Surround (a place) with armed forces in order to capture it or force its surrender; lay siege to: the guerrillas continued to besiege other major cities to the north (as adjective besieged) the besieged city
More example sentences
  • For the entire morning and much of the afternoon, Central Security forces besieged the city centre.
  • Battle lines were drawn: Henry brought up forces to besiege the town, while Henry the Younger was joined by troops from his brother Geoffrey and the new king Philip of France.
  • While state security forces besieged the village and cut phone lines to prevent communication with the outside world, he sent in trucks full of hired thugs to take control.
lay siege to, beleaguer, blockade, surround
archaic invest
1.1Crowd around oppressively; surround and harass: she spent the whole day besieged by newsmen
More example sentences
  • We have got babies left on railway platforms, and in drains and garbage bins, and children bitten by dogs and besieged by disease and affliction.
  • The production wasn't so much beset as besieged by difficulties.
  • Carpetbaggers were besieging offices and harassing staff.
surround, mob, crowd around, swarm around, throng around, encircle
oppress, torment, torture, rack, plague, afflict, haunt, harrow, hound, beset, beleaguer, trouble, bedevil, prey on
1.2 (be besieged) Be inundated by large numbers of requests or complaints: the television station was besieged with calls
More example sentences
  • Publicans have been besieged with complaints about unpleasant smells in their establishments since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced last month.
  • I know you've been besieged with requests and we do appreciate it.
  • Ayurvedic outlets are being besieged with requests for this mixture of rice gruel and medicinal herbs.
overwhelm, inundate, deluge, flood, swamp, snow under;



Pronunciation: /bəˈsējər/
Example sentences
  • The defenders ran out of ammunition while the Royalist besiegers kept up the bombardment as though determined to destroy everything opposing them.
  • It also raised the possibility of forcing back the besiegers.
  • The besiegers suffered heavy casualties in every assault, while the besieged were forced to call on the services of the old and young who were normally excused military duties.


Middle English: alteration (by change of prefix) of assiege, from Old French asegier.

Words that rhyme with besiege

liege, prestige, siege

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: be·siege

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