Find the word definition

Crossword clues for beleaguer

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Beleaguer \Be*lea"guer\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Beleaguered; p. pr. & vb. n. Beleaguering.] [D. belegeren (akin to G. belagern, Sw. bel["a]gra, Dan. beleire); pref. be- = E. be- + leger bed, camp, army, akin to E. lair. See Lair.] To surround with an army so as to preclude escape; to besiege; to blockade.

The wail of famine in beleaguered towns.

Syn: To block up; environ; invest; encompass.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1580s, from Dutch or Low German belegeren "to besiege," from be- "around" (see be-) + legeren "to camp," from leger "bed, camp, army, lair," from Proto-Germanic *leg-raz-, from PIE *legh-to- "lie" (see lie (v.2)). A word from the Flemish Wars (cognates: Swedish bel├Ągra, Dutch belegeren "besiege," German Belagerung "siege"). Spelling influenced by league. Related: Beleaguered; beleaguering.


vb. 1 To besiege; to surround with troops. 2 To vex, harass, or beset.

  1. v. annoy persistently; "The children teased the boy because of his stammer" [syn: tease, badger, pester, bug]

  2. surround so as to force to give up; "The Turks besieged Vienna" [syn: besiege, surround, hem in, circumvent]

Usage examples of "beleaguer".

Diabolus battle by night and by day, shall he come, as they are informed he will, to beleaguer the town of Mansoul.

I had almost forgot, he can more easily, and more dexterously, beleaguer the town of Mansoul, than can any of the princes besides.

If it had not been for the brave aid of a French farmer, dwelling across the river, who occasionally, on dark nights, smuggled scanty supplies to the beleaguered garrison, they would have been forced by starvation to a surrender.

Niagara with the remnant of that expedition, and other reinforcements for the beleaguered post.

As before, the beleaguered garrison hastened to the water front in anxious expectancy.

The other children laughed, giggling and pointing at the beleaguered boy.

The young man had become a legend to the beleaguered refugees, their leader of sorts, though he was rarely among them, and even more rarely ever spoke to any of them.

I have seen him with my own eyes, a beleaguered and pitiful creature, but one very much alive.

When the good Prince Emmanuel had thus beleaguered Mansoul, in the first place he hangs out the white flag, which he caused to be set up among the golden slings that were planted upon Mount Gracious.

So he took it, and looked upon it, and considered it, and took notice also of that short petition that the men of Mansoul had written at the bottom of it, and called to him the noble Captain Credence, and bid him go and take Captain Patience with him, and go and take care of that side of Mansoul that was beleaguered by the blood-men.

Women and children were imbued with a spirit equal to that of the men, fought as stoutly on the walls, and died as uncomplainingly from famine in the beleaguered towns.

May, Louis of Nassau, with a body of troops from France, captured the important town of Mons by surprise, but was at once beleaguered there by a Spanish army.

I thought sometimes I might perhaps carry a warning in time to enable women to escape with their children from a town that was about to be beleaguered, and I hoped that if I did stand in the ranks to face the Spaniards I should not disgrace my nation and blood.

Spaniards and Hollanders come to blows at sea, or the prince needs ships to carry troops to beleaguered towns, then for a time we will quit trading and will join with the Good Venture, and strike a blow at sea.

The dark shadows about him seemed a fitting frame to the beleaguered man.