• Siege


    • enPR: sēj IPA: /siːdʒ/
    • Rhymes: -iːdʒ

    Alternative forms

    • syege 15th - 16th centuries


    From Middle English sege, from Old French sege, siege, seige (modern French siège), from Vulgar Latin *sedicum, ultimately from Latin sēdēs ("seat").

    Full definition of siege



    (plural sieges)
    1. seat
      1. (obsolete) A seat, especially as used by someone of importance or authority.
        • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book III:Thenne the Bisshop of Caunterbury was fette and he blessid the syeges with grete Royalte and deuocyon, and there sette the viii and xx knyghtes in her syeges ....
        • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.vii:To th'vpper part, where was aduaunced hye
          A stately siege of soueraigne maiestye;
          And thereon sat a woman gorgeous gay ....
      2. (obsolete) An ecclesiastical see.
      3. (obsolete) The place where one has his seat; a home, residence, domain, empire.
      4. The seat of a heron while looking out for prey; a flock of heron.
      5. (obsolete) A privy or lavatory.
      6. (obsolete) The anus; the rectum.
        • 1646, Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, III.17:Another ground were certain holes or cavities observable about the siege; which being perceived in males, made some conceive there might be also a feminine nature in them.
      7. (obsolete) Excrements, stool, fecal matter.
        • 1610, , by William Shakespeare, act 2 scene 2Thou art very Trinculo indeed! How cam'st thou
          to be the siege of this moon-calf? Can he vent Trinculos?
      8. (obsolete) Rank; grade; station; estimation.
        • ShakespeareI fetch my life and being
          From men of royal siege.
      9. (obsolete) The floor of a glass-furnace.
      10. (obsolete) A workman's bench.
      11. military action
        1. A prolonged military assault or a blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition.
          • 1748. David Hume. Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. Section 3. § 5.The Peloponnesian war is a proper subject for history, the siege of Athens for an epic poem, and the death of Alcibiades for a tragedy.
        2. (US) A period of struggle or difficulty, especially from illness.
        3. (figuratively) A prolonged assault or attack
          • 2012, June 19, Phil McNulty, England 1-0 Ukraine, But once again Hodgson's men found a way to get the result they required and there is a real air of respectability about their campaign even though they had to survive a first-half siege from a Ukraine side desperate for the win they needed to progress.

    Derived terms


    1. (transitive) To assault a blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition; to besiege.
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