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 increasing popularity of the Firm, particularly in America, has spawned armies of trolls who besiege any reporter who dares write anything less than glowing about the favorite royals. K.j. Yossman, Marie Claire, "Inside the Cutthroat World of Royal Gossips," 5 Sep. 2019 The last aid convoy came in February and the camp is besieged on all sides. Josh Rogin, The Denver Post, "Commentary: U.S. won’t feed 30,000 starving Syrians living under its protection," 24 July 2019 Opposition tactics have ranged from occupying government offices to besieging police headquarters. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "Hong Kong Protesters Urge Foreign Governments to Confront Beijing at G-20 Summit," 26 June 2019 This besieged and discouraged crew of ordinary men and women trudged into that valley at Christmastime, in 1777. Richard Brady, National Review, "Valley of the Shadow," 31 Aug. 2019 But the agency was quickly besieged with requests for extensions of time from facilities citing delays, limited contractors and trouble obtaining equipment. Elizabeth Koh,, "As Hurricane Dorian nears, most Florida nursing homes lack 4 days of backup power for AC," 30 Aug. 2019 Now we are besieged with the noise from loud heavy equipment, beeping trucks, and the crashes and thuds of construction at all hours, and throttled by shaking houses and jarring vibrations. Sandra Ruiz-parrilla, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Amid the roar of construction machinery, health officials listened. We thank you.," 28 Aug. 2019 Other places have been besieged and people displaced. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "For Sama captures life in Aleppo under siege. It’s not like anything you’ve seen before.," 26 July 2019 Built as a stronghold of the MacDougall clan in 1582, the castle was besieged and burned in 1647. National Geographic, "Scotland Hiking Adventure: From the Highlands to Islands," 17 June 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

7 Oct 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).


involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!