besiege

besiege, beleaguer, invest, blockade mean to surround an enemy in a fortified or strong position so as to prevent ingress or egress.
Besiege implies a sitting down before the entrances to a fortified place (as a castle or a walled town), and it may be used to denote the operation of attackers of a strongly fortified or naturally protected position of the enemy and usually implies the surrounding of it and frequent assaults upon it in order to break down the resistance of the enemy
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Troy was besieged by Greek armies for ten years

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Beleaguer does not materially differ from besiege in meaning, although it springs from a different type of warfare, one where fortifications are less the objects of attack than open cities or occupied positions. Beleaguer suggests the presence of camps and therefore of great numbers of troops; often it carries the connotations of besetting or harassing rather than of confining or imprisoning
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a beleaguered garrison

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but Richelieu's general, Harcourt, besieged the town from the outside, himself surrounded and beleaguered by the Spanish governor of Milan— Belloc

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as in a beleaguered city there spread circumstantial rumors of happenings in the world outside— Eddington

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In extended use besiege stresses a blocking up
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they will besiege your doors

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or an assailing with importunities
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I was besieged by four small Bedouin children who had been whimpering for money as I read the papers— Liebling

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and beleaguer emphasizes a pestering or annoying
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the girl is . . . beleaguering ... a worthy gentleman— Richardson

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the family is beleaguered by peddlers

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Invest comes very close to besiege, but it does not, by comparison, carry as strong an implication of strength or of persistence in attack. In many cases it implies the use of men and weapons to prevent ingress or egress, but it carries little suggestion of frequent assaults upon the position
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Astorga is invested, but has not been vigorously attacked— Wellington

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Charleston was never besieged nor was any serious effort made ... to invest it on the land side— Spaulding

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Blockade usually stresses a closing of all sea-lanes to those who wish to enter or leave hostile territory. The term usually implies the use of ships or mines to attain this end, but if the attacking country is sufficiently strong, it may imply prohibition of neutral or enemy vessels entering or leaving and efforts to seize or detain those that disobey. The object of blockading is usually to starve the enemy or to prevent the entrance of essential supplies
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in any showdown the West's ultimate power to blockade might make the Russians think twice— Time

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Analogous words: *enclose, envelop, pen: *surround, environ, encircle, encompass, hem: beset (see INFEST): assail, *attack, assault

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:
(with a military force), , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • besiege — [v1] surround; assault assail, attack, beleaguer, beset, blockade, come at from all sides, confine, congregate, encircle, encompass, environ, hem in, invest, lay siege to, shut in, trap, work on, work over; concepts 86,90 Ant. leave alone besiege …   New thesaurus

  • Besiege — Be*siege , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Besieged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Besieging}.] [OE. bisegen; pref. be + segen to siege. See {Siege}.] To beset or surround with armed forces, for the purpose of compelling to surrender; to lay siege to; to beleaguer; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • besiege — index assault, attack, bait (harass), harass, harrow, importune, obsess, overwhelm …   Law dictionary

  • besiege — (v.) c.1300, from BE (Cf. be ) + SIEGE (Cf. siege). Related: Besieged; besieging …   Etymology dictionary

  • besiege — like siege, is spelt ie …   Modern English usage

  • besiege — ► VERB 1) surround (a place) with armed forces in order to capture it or force it to surrender. 2) harass or oppress with requests or complaints. DERIVATIVES besieger noun. ORIGIN Old French asegier …   English terms dictionary

  • besiege — [bē sēj′, bisēj′] vt. besieged, besieging [ME bisegen < be , BE + segen, to lay siege to < sege, seat, SIEGE] 1. to hem in with armed forces, esp. for a sustained attack; lay siege to 2. to close in on; crowd around 3. to overwhelm, harass …   English World dictionary

  • besiege — UK [bɪˈsiːdʒ] / US [bɪˈsɪdʒ] verb [transitive] Word forms besiege : present tense I/you/we/they besiege he/she/it besieges present participle besieging past tense besieged past participle besieged 1) a) to surround a place with an army and… …   English dictionary

  • besiege — [[t]bɪsi͟ːʤ[/t]] besieges, besieging, besieged 1) VERB: usu passive If you are besieged by people, many people want something from you and continually bother you. [be V ed] She was besieged by the press and the public. 2) VERB If soldiers besiege …   English dictionary

  • besiege — verb Besiege is used with these nouns as the object: ↑castle, ↑fortress …   Collocations dictionary

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