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See also: Siege, siége, siégé, and 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 *sēdicum, from Latin sēdicŭlum, sēdēcula (small seat), from Latin sēdēs (seat).


  • (file)
  • enPR: sēj IPA(key): /siːdʒ/
  • Rhymes: -iːdʒ


siege (plural sieges)

  1. (heading) Military action.
    1. (military) 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”, in 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.
  2. (heading) A seat.
    1. (obsolete) A seat, especially as used by someone of importance or authority.
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter ij, in Le Morte Darthur, book V.
        Now Merlyn said kyng Arthur / goo thow and aspye me in al this land l knyghtes whiche ben of most prowesse & worship / within short tyme merlyn had founde suche knyȝtes [] Thenne the Bisshop of Caunterbury was fette and he blessid the syeges with grete Royalte and deuoycyon / and there sette the viij and xx knyghtes in her syeges
      • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen, 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 toilet seat.
    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.
    8. (obsolete) Rank; grade; station; estimation.
    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?)
  3. (obsolete) A place with a toilet seat: an outhouse; a lavatory.


Derived terms[edit]



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

  1. (transitive, uncommon) To assault a blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition; to besiege.
    Synonym: 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)
  2. seat (place where one sits)