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tr.v. be·set, be·set·ting, be·sets
1. To attack from all sides.
2. To trouble persistently; harass. See Synonyms at attack.
3. To hem in; surround: "the mountains which beset it round" (Nathaniel Hawthorne).
4. To stud, as with jewels.

[Middle English bisetten, from Old English besettan; see sed- in Indo-European roots.]

be·set′ment n.


the state or condition of being beset
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References in classic literature ?
They seem to lie upon us like a deep flood; and it's my besetment to forget where I am and everything about me, and lose myself in thoughts that I could give no account of, for I could neither make a beginning nor ending of them in words.
The spiritual vulgarity of the doctrine, so far as material things are concerned, is clearly illustrated in the mechanically virtuous Pamela, who, even in the midst of the most outrageous besetments of Squire B , is hoping with all her soul for the triumph which is actually destined for her, of becoming his wife and so rising high above her original humble station.
M'Clintock was also able to piece together that harrowing tale of decline and disaster as the crews of the Erebus and Terror vainly sought to break out of their besetment (M'Clintock, 1859).