Definition of beleaguer in English:



  • 1 Lay siege to.

    ‘he is leading a relief force to the aid of the beleaguered city’
    • ‘Seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them.’
    • ‘For every useless mouth in a beleaguered place adds to the difficulties of the defenders and facilitates the task of the besiegers.’
    • ‘The fateful day dawned, and still the city was beleaguered on every side, while within its walls the Aztecs were dying of famine and plague.’
    besieged, under siege, blockaded, surrounded, encircled, hemmed in, under attack
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    1. 1.1Beset with difficulties.
      ‘the board is supporting the beleaguered director amid calls for his resignation’
      • ‘More trouble in store for Andrew Neil at the sadly beleaguered Scotsman.’
      • ‘The first was to do some fact-finding, and the second was to lend some support to a beleaguered profession.’
      • ‘Even a nun from a local convent declined the opportunity to voice support for her beleaguered religious superior.’
      • ‘‘The more beleaguered he feels, the more he will dig in his heels,’ said a government figure.’
      • ‘Did MacMahon even try to round up support for his beleaguered master?’
      • ‘This editorial does little to support a beleaguered profession and could cause much more serious damage.’
      • ‘May it also help our beleaguered security managers get some real support as the fall begins.’
      • ‘In that context, it's hard to see how a city takeover would benefit beleaguered students.’
      • ‘But many stresses that beleaguer us do not fall into these categories.’
      • ‘The very time you should stick by your beleaguered spouse is when your loyalty can serve and support him.’
      • ‘In this sense the film represents directly the severe repression of its beleaguered central character.’
      • ‘Other gifts have been received from far and wide, with heartfelt messages of support for the beleaguered farming community.’
      • ‘I was just saying: look, you know, all those areas, you cannot have one person doing it, because they will get beleaguered by it.’
      • ‘But it isn't just the nuts and bolts of touring in support of a new album that can be so beleaguering: sometimes it's the talking about it on the phone with strangers.’
      • ‘Look, I think doctors feel terribly beleaguered in general about medical negligence litigation.’
      • ‘Later presidents tried to revive it to conjure up domestic support for their beleaguered policies.’
      • ‘Not only will he not go, but any attempt to dislodge him would certainly cause trouble to erupt in that beleaguered state again.’
      • ‘With the institution of the family so beleaguered, it would be highly desirable for the reigning House to set an example.’
      • ‘The other most important individual involved in any game is the referee - the most beleaguered of all sports people.’
      • ‘He is beleaguered, too, by the memories of his dead wife and his victims.’
      hard-pressed, troubled, in difficulties, under pressure, under stress, with one's back to the wall, in a tight corner, in a tight spot
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Late 16th century: from Dutch belegeren camp around from be- (all) around + leger a camp.