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siege noun

1 when an army surrounds a town

ADJ. long, prolonged

VERB + SIEGE lay The English forces laid siege to the city of Tournai. | withstand This fortress could withstand a siege for years if necessary. | lift, raise, relieve (= arrive to help the people in a siege) The royal forces marched south to lift the siege of Donnington Castle.

SIEGE + VERB last The siege lasted two years.

SIEGE + NOUN warfare | engine

PREP. at a/the ~ wounded at the siege of Edinburgh Castle in 1573 | during a/the ~, under ~ At the very end of the war, Prague again came under siege. | ~ of

2 when the police, etc. surround a building

ADJ. four-day, ten-hour, etc. | armed, gun, police

SIEGE + VERB end The seven-hour armed siege at the school ended peacefully.

PREP. during a/the ~ The terrorists were shot dead during the siege of the embassy.

PHRASES a state of siege The police placed the city centre under a virtual state of siege.