Simple Definition of seize
: to use legal or official power to take (something)
: to get or take (something) in a forceful, sudden, or violent way
: to attack and take control of (a place) by force or violence
Full Definition of seize
1a usually seise play \ˈsēz\ : to vest ownership of a freehold estate inb often seise : to put in possession of something <the biographer will be seized of all pertinent papers>
2a : to take possession of : confiscateb : to take possession of by legal process
5a : to attack or overwhelm physically : afflict <seized with chest pains>b : to possess (as one's mind) completely or overwhelmingly <seized the popular imagination — Basil Davenport>
6 : to bind or fasten together with a lashing of small stuff (as yarn, marline, or fine wire)
1 : to take or lay hold suddenly or forcibly
2a : to cohere to a relatively moving part through excessive pressure, temperature, or friction —used especially of machine parts (as bearings, brakes, or pistons)b : to fail to operate due to the seizing of a part —used of an engine
Examples of seize
The bank seized their property.
The army has seized control of the city.
A rebel group attempted to seize power.
He suddenly seized the lead in the final lap of the race.
He seized her by the arm.
He tried to seize the gun from him.
She was seized by kidnappers and carried off to a hidden location.
He seized the chance to present his ideas to his boss.
Seizing the moment, she introduced herself to the famous film director.
Origin of seize
Middle English saisen, from Anglo-French seisir, from Medieval Latin sacire, of Germanic origin; perhaps akin to Old High German sezzen to set — more at set
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of seize
SEIZE Defined for Kids
Definition of seize
1 : to take possession of by or as if by force <Invaders seized the castle.> <He seized the lead.>
2 : to take hold of suddenly or with force <… Balin was just in time to seize the boat before it floated off … — J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit>
3 : to take or use eagerly or quickly <She seized the opportunity to go.>
Seen and Heard
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