siege

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lay siege to

To surround and attack a place (often a city or building) with armed troops. A: "The army has laid siege to our town!" B: "I knew we should have evacuated sooner!"
See also: lay, siege

a siege mentality

The belief that one is constantly under attack and must protect oneself from hostility. Don't be surprised if Ned reacts to you with anger—he has a siege mentality that makes it difficult for him to see anything positively. Many people living in that war-torn country have developed a siege mentality.
See also: mentality, siege

lay ˈsiege to something

surround a building, especially in order to speak to or question the person or people living or working there: The press and paparazzi laid siege to the star’s London flat in the hope of getting a photograph of her.
A siege is a military operation in which an army tries to capture a town by surrounding it and stopping the supply of food, etc. to the people inside.
See also: lay, siege, something

under ˈsiege


1 surrounded by an army or the police: The city has now been under siege for more than three weeks.
2 being criticized all the time or put under pressure by problems, questions, etc: The dollar came under siege on Monday, falling to its lowest for three years.
See also: siege