verb \ˈsēz\

: 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

transitive verb
a usually seise \ˈsēz\ :  to vest ownership of a freehold estate in
b often seise :  to put in possession of something <the biographer will be seized of all pertinent papers>
a :  to take possession of :  confiscate
b :  to take possession of by legal process
a :  to possess or take by force :  capture
b :  to take prisoner :  arrest
a :  to take hold of :  clutch
b :  to possess oneself of :  grasp
c :  to understand fully and distinctly :  apprehend
a :  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>
:  to bind or fasten together with a lashing of small stuff (as yarn, marline, or fine wire)
intransitive verb
:  to take or lay hold suddenly or forcibly
a :  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
seiz·er noun

Examples of SEIZE

  1. The bank seized their property.
  2. The army has seized control of the city.
  3. A rebel group attempted to seize power.
  4. He suddenly seized the lead in the final lap of the race.
  5. He seized her by the arm.
  6. He tried to seize the gun from him.
  7. She was seized by kidnappers and carried off to a hidden location.
  8. He seized the chance to present his ideas to his boss.
  9. 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


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