Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MILITARY

Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: sege 'seat, siege', from Vulgar Latin sedicum, from Latin sedere 'to sit'

siege

noun
     
siege [uncountable and countable]
1PM a situation in which an army or the police surround a place and try to gain control of it or force someone to come out of it:
The siege lasted almost four months.
a three-day police siege at a remote country cottage
siege of
the siege of Leningrad
end/lift/raise a siege (=end a siege)
2

lay siege to somebody/something

a) if the army or police lay siege to a place, they start a siege against it:
In June 1176 King Richard laid siege to Limoges.
b) if you lay siege to someone, you do everything you can to try and get them to talk to you:
Then he set to work laying siege to her with letters.
3

be under siege

a) PM to be surrounded by an army in a siege
b) to be being criticized, attacked, or threatened all the time:
The TV station has been under siege from irate viewers phoning in to complain.
4

siege mentality

the feeling among a group of people that they are surrounded by enemies and must do everything they can to protect themselves
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