American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To attack from all sides.
- v. To trouble persistently; harass. See Synonyms at attack.
- v. To hem in; surround: "the mountains which beset it round” ( Nathaniel Hawthorne).
- v. To stud, as with jewels.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To set or place.
- To set or place upon; distribute over; bestud; besprinkle: now only in the perfect participle.
- To come upon or against; set upon in attack, or so as to perplex, endanger, or hem in; press upon severely, vigorously, or from all sides: as, to beset one with blows or with entreaties.
- To employ; spend; use up.
- To become; suit; look well on.
- v. transitive To surround or hem in
- v. transitive To attack, especially from all sides
- v. transitive To decorate something with jewels etc
- v. nautical Of a ship, to get trapped by ice
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To set or stud (anything) with ornaments or prominent objects.
- v. To hem in; to waylay; to surround; to besiege; to blockade.
- v. To set upon on all sides; to perplex; to harass; -- said of dangers, obstacles, etc.
- v. obsolete To occupy; to employ; to use up.
- v. assail or attack on all sides:
- v. annoy continually or chronically
- v. decorate or cover lavishly (as with gems)
- Middle English bisetten, from Old English besettan; see sed- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But the project is beset from the start by a fiendish enemy, and also that weird phantom of outer space, Zero Gravity.”
“But there's an I-told-you-so attitude in the West Wing — a rare feel-good moment in a second term beset by a succession of crises.”
“For Mr Brown, election day could mark the ignominious end of a three-year term beset by division within his party, relentless media sniping and the near-collapse of the British economy.”
“For Brown, appreciated by some but widely unloved, election day could mark the ignominious end of a three-year term beset by division within his party, relentless media sniping and the near-collapse of the British economy.”
“Kollapen said the report describes a community "beset" by problems:”
“A man needs a stout heart, a clear head, and a sure hand, to hold his own in a welter of interests and antagonisms such as beset me.”
“But there were no other hardships such as beset Odysseus, between the burning of Troy and his return to Ithaca, west of the land of Greece.”
“Presently, however, his inner anxieties grew upon him so much that his book fell on his knee, and he lost himself in a multitude of small scruples and torments, such as beset all persons who live alone.”
“That struggle, like his own, was beset by "dark forces, threatening words, which caused rivers of tears.”
“Choose carefully from your various lodging options, if for no other reason than to reduce the likelihood of encountering the problem which beset us … feeling compelled, at dusk, to change our plan regarding where to spend the night, and as a result having little choice but to drive at night, not the optimum way to enjoy any trip through Mexico.”
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