siege mentality


: a defensive or overly fearful attitude

Example Sentences

Living in a high-crime area can create a siege mentality.
Recent Examples on the Web The new revelations remind us of the academic squabbling, pettiness, and biases that pervade many areas of science, and the existence of a siege mentality among some of the top echelons that works to paper over differences and uncertainties. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 25 Nov. 2011 Looking back, a corporate siege mentality and poor training contributed to serious mistakes in judgment, said another former Uber executive from this era. Joseph Menn, Washington Post, 6 July 2015 That has fostered not only a type of siege mentality but also frequent bouts of bad blood. New York Times, 13 May 2022 Among academy leaders who have been buffeted by nearly nonstop controversy and uncomfortable scrutiny since the #OscarSoWhite firestorm erupted in 2015, a sort of siege mentality has taken hold. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2022 The intent was to create a siege mentality that feeds into the Kremlin’s central theme: The West wants to bring Russia to its knees. Markus Ziener, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2022 Amid a rash of burglaries this year — brazen, sometimes shockingly crafty invasions — residents are adopting a siege mentality. Megan Cassidy,, 24 Dec. 2020 And as the mask of neutrality slips, a siege mentality is taking hold, signaling a return to the early days of explicitly partisan and ideological policing. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, 20 Oct. 2020 Cities may adopt a siege mentality to the environment while being deeply reliant upon it for survival. Darran Anderson, The Atlantic, 24 Aug. 2020 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of siege mentality was in 1953

Dictionary Entries Near siege mentality

Cite this Entry

“Siege mentality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

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