Meaning of beset


Beset means to attack from all sides — an invading army will beset a castle, or you might find yourself beset by a devastating storm.

Beset also has a very different meaning: to decorate or encrust with jewels or other ornamentation. If you are attending a ball, you may choose a gown that is beset with silver sequins, just be careful that you don’t end up looking like a giant disco ball.

Definitions of beset
  1. verb

    assail or attack on all sides


    set upon

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    type of:

    assail, assault, attack, set on

    attack someone physically or emotionally

  2. verb

    annoy continually or chronically


    chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague, provoke

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    goad, needle

    goad or provoke, as by constant criticism
    bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, rag, torment

    treat cruelly

    harass by imposing humiliating or painful tasks, as in military institutions

    drive up the wall; get on someone’s nerves

    make ineffective or powerless
    badger, beleaguer, bug, pester, tease

    annoy persistently
    oppress, persecute

    cause to suffer
    type of:

    annoy, bother, chafe, devil, get at, get to, gravel, irritate, nark, nettle, rag, rile, vex

    cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations

  3. verb

    decorate or cover lavishly (as with gems)


    encrust, incrust

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    type of:

    adorn, beautify, decorate, embellish, grace, ornament

    make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.

Word Family

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