beleaguer

verb
be·​lea·​guer | \ bi-ˈlē-gər How to pronounce beleaguer (audio) , bē-\
beleaguered; beleaguering\ bi-​ˈlē-​g(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce beleaguering (audio) , bē-​ \

Definition of beleaguer

transitive verb

1 : besiege a town beleaguered by an army a beleaguered city
2 : trouble, harass beleaguered parents an economically beleaguered city

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Other Words from beleaguer

beleaguerment \ bi-​ˈlē-​gər-​mənt How to pronounce beleaguerment (audio) , bē-​ \ noun

Synonyms for beleaguer

Synonyms

besiege, blockade, invest, leaguer [archaic]

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Did You Know?

English speakers created "beleaguer" from the Dutch word belegeren in the 16th century. "[Military men] will not vouchsafe . . . to use our ancient terms belonging to matters of war, but do call a camp by the Dutch name," commented the English soldier and diplomat Sir John Smyth in 1590. The word for "camp" that he was referring to is "leaguer." That term in turn comes from Dutch "leger," which is one of the building blocks of "belegeren" (literally, "to camp around"). But neither "leaguer" nor "beleaguer" were in fact utterly foreign. Old English "leger," the source of our modern "lair," is related to the Dutch word. And the Old English "be-" ("about, around"), as seen in "besiege" and "beset," is related to the Dutch prefix be- in "belegeren."

Examples of beleaguer in a Sentence

the lack of funds that beleaguers schools beleaguered the castle for months

Recent Examples on the Web

Prevent these beleaguering effects from occurring in the first place by drinking plenty of water and committing to an in-flight beauty regimen. Andrea Cheng, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Skin Care Routine For Your Next Flight: A Step-By-Step Guide," 30 Aug. 2019 The agency, which runs nine low-income housing facilities in South Bend and is financed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been beleaguered by complaints of financial mismanagement for much of the decade. Neil Vigdor, BostonGlobe.com, "FBI agents raid South Bend Housing Authority offices," 1 Aug. 2019 An Indiana lineman and other UFO-sighters, beleaguered by earlier incidents, finally have documented contact with space aliens. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 The society's permanent Manchester home, an octagonal brick building, sits unfinished, nearly two decades in the making and beleaguered by graffiti and broken windows costing tens of thousands in repairs. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "A shaken mosque welcomes Beto O'Rourke in New Hampshire," 9 Sep. 2019 The agency, which runs nine low-income housing facilities in South Bend and is financed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been beleaguered by complaints of financial mismanagement for much of the decade. Neil Vigdor, BostonGlobe.com, "FBI agents raid South Bend Housing Authority offices," 1 Aug. 2019 But clearly many of those one-run losses are the result of teams rallying vs. Colorado’s beleaguered bullpen. Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post, "Rockies Mailbag: Bud Black can only work with the pitchers he has. Will it be enough in 2020?," 28 Aug. 2019 The agency, which runs nine low-income housing facilities in South Bend and is financed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been beleaguered by complaints of financial mismanagement for much of the decade. Neil Vigdor, BostonGlobe.com, "FBI agents raid South Bend Housing Authority offices," 1 Aug. 2019 The agency, which runs nine low-income housing facilities in South Bend and is financed by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been beleaguered by complaints of financial mismanagement for much of the decade. Neil Vigdor, New York Times, "F.B.I. Agents Raid South Bend Housing Authority Offices," 31 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beleaguer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beleaguer

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beleaguer

Dutch belegeren, from be- (akin to Old English be-) + leger camp; akin to Old High German legar bed — more at lair

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Statistics for beleaguer

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for beleaguer

The first known use of beleaguer was in 1587

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More Definitions for beleaguer

beleaguer

verb

English Language Learners Definition of beleaguer

formal : to cause constant or repeated trouble for (a person, business, etc.)

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