From Middle English besetten, bisetten, from Old English besettan (“to beset; set beside; set near; appoint; place; own; possess”), from Proto-Germanic *bisatjaną (“to set near; set around”), equivalent to be- + set. Cognate with Saterland Frisian besätte (“to occupy”), West Frisian besette (“to occupy”), Dutch bezetten (“to sit in; occupy; fill”), German Low German besetten (“to occupy”), German besetzen (“to seize; occupy; garrison”), Danish besætte (“to occupy; obsess”), Swedish besätta (“to fill; occupy; beset”).
- (transitive) To surround or hem in.
- (transitive, sometimes figurative) To attack or assail, especially from all sides.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar […], OCLC 928184292:
- “Nay, for matter o’ that, he never doth any mischief,” said the woman; “but to be sure it is necessary he should keep some arms for his own safety; for his house hath been beset more than once; and it is not many nights ago that we thought we heard thieves about it […]
- (transitive) To decorate something with jewels etc.
- (nautical) Of a ship, to get trapped by ice.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
beset (present beset, present participle besettende, past participle beset)