be·​siege | \ bi-ˈsēj How to pronounce besiege (audio) , bē- \
besieged; besieging

Definition of besiege

transitive verb

1 military : to surround with armed forces The army had besieged the castle.
2a : to press with requests : importune besieging the royal ministers with petitions …— T. B. Costain besieged by the media
b : to cause worry or distress to : beset doubts besieged him

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Other Words from besiege

besieger noun

Synonyms for besiege


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Examples of besiege in a Sentence

Customers have besieged the company with questions.
Recent Examples on the Web In Ukraine’s Odesa, traffic jams at the entrance to the city spread for kilometers (miles), and crowds besiege the city’s night clubs after sunset. USA TODAY, "In Russia and Ukraine, no social distance on crowded beaches during COVID-19," 9 July 2020 Juárez, once besieged on the Gulf coast, was driven into the far northwest of Mexico. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "The Real History of Cinco de Mayo," 5 May 2020 His Warriors, besieged by injuries and offseason defections, are the only team statistically eliminated from the playoffs. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Amid coronavirus shutdown, NBA hasn’t given up on salvaging the regular season," 30 Apr. 2020 Dickies, known for its durable work clothing, is converting plants in Mexico and Honduras to produce FDA-compliant isolation gowns for U.S. hospitals and health care workers besieged by sick patients during the coronavirus pandemic. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Dickies to use plants in Mexico, Honduras to make protective gowns for health workers battling virus," 16 Apr. 2020 State governors, besieged by a flood of coronavirus patients amid scarce hospital resources, took to the airwaves on Sunday to plead for more equipment to fight the pandemic. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "Governors Push for More Medical Gear to Fight Coronavirus," 29 Mar. 2020 Trying to stay ahead of the curve A glimpse at conditions in two hospitals, one not yet besieged by the virus and another that's ramping up for the worst, provides a sense of the war. Kevin Mccoy And Katie Wedell, USA TODAY, "'On-the-job emergency training': Hospitals may run low on staff to run ventilators for coronavirus patients," 27 Mar. 2020 But unlike those genres, the movie, about a small town besieged by a Christmas Eve snowstorm, has Asian American characters front and center who aren’t there just to be comedic relief. NBC News, "Asians play leads, instead of usual sidekicks, in this year's holiday movies," 19 Dec. 2019 The stunning downfall of Kenneth Johnson is the latest embarrassment for a Police Department besieged recently by scandal. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Daywatch: Eddie Johnson denies lying, Amy Klobuchar seeks to break through in Iowa and a tiny suburban brewery stuns the beer industry," 4 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'besiege.' 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 besiege

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of besiege was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Besiege.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for besiege


How to pronounce besiege (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of besiege

: to surround a city, building, etc., with soldiers and try to take control of it
: to gather around (someone) in a way that is aggressive, annoying, etc.
: to overwhelm (someone) with too many questions or requests for things


be·​siege | \ bi-ˈsēj How to pronounce besiege (audio) \
besieged; besieging

Kids Definition of besiege

1 : to surround with armed forces for the purpose of capturing The army besieged the castle.
2 : to crowd around The movie star was besieged by photographers.
3 : to overwhelm with questions or requests … the monks around me besieged me with eager questions …— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee

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