siege

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Related to sieging: besieging

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

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

under siege

1. Literally, surrounded by the armed forces of the military or police, unable to leave or escape. The city remained under siege for nearly three months. By the time they finally surrendered, their citizens were starved nearly half to death.
2. Facing increasing pressure or difficulty. The company's stocks have been under siege as news of the scandal continues to spook investors.
3. Subject to criticisms or personal attacks from various different sources or angles. I've been under siege lately, with people from around the company coming to complain about the software issue.
See also: 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