Meaning | Synonyms
- to be under attack
- to be criticized by a lot of people at the same time
- to be under a lot of pressure
- The president came under siege for his radical decisions.
- The newspaper came under siege after they printed an article denouncing the recent attacks as a hoax.
- Their corporate offices are under siege after their stocks plummeted last week.
- Our company is under siege after it was discovered that our CEO had been embezzling from stockholders.
- Their website is under siege from cyber terrorists.
The word "siege" originally comes from the Latin word "sege" meaning seat. In the 1200s this is the context in which the word was used.
By the 1300s, it was used to describe a military attack on a particular target. In the literal sense, it is still used to describe targets that are being attacked by enemy forces.
It is unclear exactly when during the 1900s the figurative meaning originated. The figurative meaning is closely related to the literal one. Even though you are not being physically attacked it is still used to describe someone who is being targeted for attack.