beset

verb
be·​set | \ bi-ˈset, bē-\
beset; besetting

Definition of beset

transitive verb

1 : to set or stud with or as if with ornaments a crown beset with rubies … leaves, whose edges were beset with thorns …— J. G. Frazer
2 : trouble, harass inflation besets the economy
3a : to set upon : assail the explorers were beset by wolves
b : to hem in : surround a town beset with high mountains

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from beset

besetment \ bi-​ˈset-​mənt , bē-​ \ noun

Examples of beset in a Sentence

A lack of money is the greatest problem besetting the city today. he's been beset by a lack of self-confidence virtually his entire life

Recent Examples on the Web

That would leave most of us disappointed but some lucky winner beset by a host of questions. Scott Mcfetridge, The Seattle Times, "What happens if you win Mega Millions’ $1.6B jackpot?," 22 Oct. 2018 That gap has created an opportunity for startups and technology firms to make a huge difference in an industry beset by increasing costs and labor shortages. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Can artificial intelligence change construction?," 12 Oct. 2018 The Multi-Mission Launcher that is supposed to shoot down these threats, using larger vehicles, a slew of new interceptors and specialized radar targeting, has been beset with delays and won’t be deployed until 2022, soonest. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Puts More Pieces on Europe's WWIII Chessboard," 10 Sep. 2018 Beijing has been beset with rumors in recent weeks that China's authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, is in trouble. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Is China's Xi Jinping's authority over his country diminishing?," 5 Aug. 2018 How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within? WSJ, "And the Fair Land," 21 Nov. 2018 And despite this very obvious truth and the fact that excessive screen time has been linked to exacerbating just about every mental and physical health condition that besets us, smartphone addiction is a stark reality for many—if not most. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why an Old-School Alarm Clock—Not a Smartphone—Is the Secret to a Better Night’s Sleep," 10 Nov. 2018 Welcome once again to the artist-the-Libs-love-voices-support-for-Trump media circus that seems to beset our Twitter feeds every couple months. Thomas Harlander, Los Angeles Magazine, "Maybe We Should Take David Lynch’s Thoughts on Trump with a Grain of Salt," 27 June 2018 But the carnage is not all that has beset residents. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, "The story must be told.," 16 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of beset

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for beset

Middle English besetten, from Old English besettan, from be- + settan to set

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beset

Statistics for beset

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beset

The first known use of beset was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beset

beset

verb

English Language Learners Definition of beset

: to cause problems or difficulties for (someone or something)

beset

verb
be·​set | \ bi-ˈset \
beset; besetting

Kids Definition of beset

1 : to attack violently The traveler was beset by wild beasts.
2 : surround sense 1 a moon beset with clouds
3 : to cause problems or difficulties for Doubts beset him.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on beset

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beset

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beset

Spanish Central: Translation of beset

Nglish: Translation of beset for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beset for Arabic Speakers

Comments on beset

What made you want to look up beset? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!