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besiege

IPA

How to pronounce besiege (audio)

Dictionary Definition of 'besiege'

To surround and blockade a place, typically a city or fortress, with the intent of forcing those inside to surrender.
"The army began to besiege the city, cutting off all supply lines."

Detailed Meaning of 'besiege'

It implies a prolonged and intense effort to isolate and weaken the defenders, often through a combination of military force and psychological pressure. For example, an army might besiege a walled city by encircling it with troops and cutting off its supply lines, in order to wear down the defenders and force them to surrender. The term "besiege" can also be used more figuratively, to describe the act of surrounding or overwhelming someone or something with intense pressure or demands. For instance, a person might feel besieged by demands from work, family, or social obligations, leading to feelings of stress and exhaustion. Overall, the term "besiege" suggests an aggressive and sustained effort to control or overcome a particular situation or entity.

History and Etymology of 'besiege'

The verb 'besiege' has its origins in Old French, derived from the word 'siege,' which means 'seat' or 'place.' In medieval warfare, a siege referred to the act of surrounding and blockading a place, typically a city or fortress, in order to force those inside to surrender. The Old French term 'sege' was influenced by the Latin 'sedere,' which means 'to sit' or 'to be seated.' The concept of a siege involved the idea of an army 'sitting down' around a place for an extended period to cut off supplies and communication, putting pressure on the defenders. As 'sege' evolved into 'besiege' in English, it retained the sense of surrounding and blockading, emphasizing the intent to compel surrender through strategic isolation. The etymology of 'besiege' underscores its historical connection to the tactics of medieval warfare, highlighting the process of encircling a place to gain a strategic advantage.

Examples of 'besiege' in a Sentence

1. Debt collectors besiege the debtor, demanding repayment.
2. Tourists besiege the popular tourist attraction, creating long queues.
3. Phone calls from telemarketers besiege the homeowner throughout the day.
4. Mosquitoes besiege the campsite, leaving everyone covered in bites.
5. Demonstrators besiege the corporate headquarters, demanding justice for workers.
6. Refugees besiege the border, seeking safety and shelter.
7. Angry customers besiege the customer service hotline, complaining about the faulty product.
8. Severe weather conditions besiege the coastal town, causing widespread damage.
9. Paparazzi besiege the red carpet event, capturing photos of celebrities.
10. Questions from reporters besiege the celebrity during the press conference.
11. Waves of tourists besiege the popular beach resort during the summer.
12. Protests besiege the city streets, calling for political change.
13. Critics besiege the new movie release, offering mixed reviews.
14. Complaints from residents besiege the city council, addressing the ongoing infrastructure issues.

Synonyms

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Quiz Categories Containing 'besiege'

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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same / different

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Spelling Bee

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