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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), Swedish besätta (to fill; occupy; beset).



beset (third-person singular simple present besets, present participle besetting, simple past and past participle beset)

  1. (transitive) To surround or hem in.
  2. (transitive, sometimes figuratively) To attack or assail, especially from all sides.
  3. (transitive) To decorate something with jewels etc.
  4. (nautical) Of a ship, to get trapped by ice.

Derived terms[edit]


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