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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from besiege

besieger noun

Synonyms for besiege


beleaguer, blockade, invest, leaguer [archaic]

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of besiege in a Sentence

Customers have besieged the company with questions.

Recent Examples on the Web

The French champions will have to rely on the strength of their squad depth as they are besieged by absences., "Metz vs Paris Saint-Germain: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 26 Aug. 2019 He too is besieged by the dead, assailed by visions more literal than Nora’s or Josie’s. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "Téa Obreht follows up 'The Tiger's Wife' with 'Inland' a haunted, fantastical Western," 13 Aug. 2019 This newest season follows the resident of Hawkins, Ind., as they are besieged by interdimensional forces and evil Russians. Rachel Yang,, "Stranger Things 3 breaks Netflix viewership record in first 4 days of release," 9 July 2019 Police have claimed the use of force was justified, but since then have largely adopted softer tactics, even as protesters besieged police headquarters in recent days, pelting it with eggs and spray-painting slogans on its outer walls. Fox News, "Hong Kong demonstrators smash government building amid protests on anniversary of return of Chinese rule," 2 July 2019 Caterina Sforza immediately began expanding her military defenses, improving her weaponry, and creating large stores of food and ammunition in case she was besieged. National Geographic, "This Renaissance warrior woman defied powerful popes to defend her lands," 15 Mar. 2019 Jeff Seidel If the Spartans can figure out how to score again. They were besieged by injuries last season, but now those players are healthy, and many of the backups have experience. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "This is what Michigan State football has to do to reach Big Ten championship game," 20 Aug. 2019 The agency has been besieged by criticism from lawmakers and immigration activists as the Trump administration continues to target those living in the U.S. illegally. Fox News, "FBI investigating shooting at ICE office in San Antonio as 'targeted attack'," 14 Aug. 2019 The New York Times gained one of the first inside views by a news organization of life under lockdown in Kashmir and found a population that felt besieged, confused, frightened and furious. Sameer Yasir,, "Confusion, rage, and protest grip cutoff Kashmir," 10 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of besiege

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about besiege

Statistics for besiege

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for besiege

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for besiege



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on besiege

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for besiege

Spanish Central: Translation of besiege

Nglish: Translation of besiege for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of besiege for Arabic Speakers

Comments on besiege

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


to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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