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See also: siège


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Alternative forms[edit]

  • 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).



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, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 2 scene 2
        Thou 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.
      • Shakespeare
        I fetch my life and being / From men of royal siege.
    9. (obsolete) The floor of a glass-furnace.
    10. (obsolete) A workman's bench.
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  2. 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”, BBC Sport:
        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[edit]



siege (third-person singular simple present sieges, present participle sieging, simple past and past participle sieged)

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





  1. First-person singular present of siegen.
  2. Imperative singular of siegen.
  3. First-person singular subjunctive I of siegen.
  4. Third-person singular subjunctive I of siegen.

Middle French[edit]


siege m (plural sieges)

  1. siege (prolonged military assault or a blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition)