siege - definition and synonyms

noun [countable/uncountable] 

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  1. 1
    an attack in which an army surrounds a castle or city in order to prevent the people inside from receiving food and water

    The troops prepared to withstand a long siege.

    break a siege (=to cause a siege to end):

    An attempt was made to break the 38-month siege of Sarajevo.

    lift/raise a siege (=to end a siege):

    The king lifted the siege two months later.

    under siege (=in a siege):

    Malta was under siege in World War II.

    See also lay1
  2. 2
    a situation in which a group of people surround a building in order to protest about something or to force the people inside to come out

    Police surrounded the house for a 12 hour siege.

    state of siege:

    The town was in a state of siege (=people could not leave or enter it).

    lay siege to something (=start a siege in a place):

    Hundreds of students laid siege to the American embassy.