confiscate

adjective
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) , kən-ˈfi-skət How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \

Definition of confiscate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : appropriated by the government : forfeited
2 : deprived of property by confiscation

confiscate

verb
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \
confiscated; confiscating

Definition of confiscate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to seize as forfeited to the public treasury
2 : to seize by or as if by authority

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Other Words from confiscate

Verb

confiscation \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈskā-​shən How to pronounce confiscation (audio) \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər How to pronounce confiscator (audio) \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfi-​skə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce confiscatory (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for confiscate

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of confiscate in a Sentence

Verb Guards confiscated knives and other weapons from the prisoners. The teacher confiscated all cell phones for the duration of the field trip.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The officers confiscated their mobile phones and car keys and beat Magdy for refusing to unlock her phone. Defne Gencler, Fortune, "These 10 journalists deserve answers, protection, and justice," 3 Feb. 2020 With 100 grams of fentanyl, police confiscated more than 50,000 lethal doses of the drug during the execution of the search warrant. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Five indicted after more than 50,000 lethal doses of fentanyl found in East Price Hill apartment," 30 Jan. 2020 Police confiscated the fake weapon from the woman at her home following the encounter with the reporter, the news outlet reported. Fox News, "Las Vegas mass murderer’s ex-mistress has fake gun seized from her in New Zealand: report," 26 Jan. 2020 The authorities have confiscated Uighur books, restricted the use of the language in schools and detained scholars, artists and intellectuals, among others, in indoctrination camps. New York Times, "They Built a Homeland Far From China’s Grip. Now They’re Afraid.," 21 Dec. 2019 In 2015, Russian prosecutors confiscated books from a Jewish school affiliated with the Chabad Hasidic movement in Yekaterinburg following complaints that its students were being taught to hate non-Jews. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "Russian Jews are increasingly moving to Israel," 18 Sep. 2019 Serfs worked the land to create value, but most of that value was confiscated by the landlord. Don Tapscott, Quartz, "We’re living in an era of digital feudalism. Here’s how to take your data and identity back," 11 Sep. 2019 Washington earlier in the night had confiscated a friend’s gun after an evening of drinking. oregonlive, "PSU to pay $1 million to family of Jason Washington shot and killed by campus police," 31 Dec. 2019 Police, working with federal drug enforcement agents and the FBI, confiscated drugs including cocaine, crack, marijuana, heroin and other hard drugs with a street value of more than $600,000. CBS News, "Police say 200 people arrested, high-powered weapons seized in Philadelphia drug bust," 24 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'confiscate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of confiscate

Adjective

circa 1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for confiscate

Adjective

Latin confiscatus, past participle of confiscare to confiscate, from com- + fiscus treasury

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Time Traveler for confiscate

Time Traveler

The first known use of confiscate was circa 1533

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Statistics for confiscate

Cite this Entry

“Confiscate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confiscate. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for confiscate

confiscate

verb
How to pronounce confiscate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of confiscate

: to take (something) away from someone especially as punishment or to enforce the law or rules

confiscate

verb
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \
confiscated; confiscating

Kids Definition of confiscate

: to seize by or as if by public authority Police confiscated the stolen car.

Other Words from confiscate

confiscation \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈskā-​shən \ noun

confiscate

transitive verb
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \
confiscated; confiscating

Legal Definition of confiscate

: to seize without compensation as forfeited to the public treasury — compare criminal forfeiture

Note: Illegal items such as narcotics or firearms, or profits from the sale of illegal items, may be confiscated by law enforcement officers. Additionally, government action that reduces the value of property to a person or entity as to make it nearly worthless has been held to constitute confiscation. Examples of such government action include the passage of zoning laws that prevent the use of land for its designated purpose and the setting of utility rates so low that the utility company cannot realize a reasonable return on its investment.

Other Words from confiscate

confiscation \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈskā-​shən How to pronounce confiscation (audio) \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər How to pronounce confiscator (audio) \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfis-​kə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce confiscatory (audio) \ adjective

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