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.

Primary Meanings of beset

assail or attack on all sides: "The zebra was beset by leopards"
decorate or cover lavishly (as with gems)
Full Definitions of beset

v assail or attack on all sides: "The zebra was beset by leopards"

set upon
Type of:
assail, assault, attack, set on
attack someone physically or emotionally

v 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; go 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

v decorate or cover lavishly (as with gems)

encrust, incrust
Type of:
adorn, beautify, decorate, embellish, grace, ornament
make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.

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