confiscate

adjective
con·​fis·​cate | \ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt, kən-ˈfi-skət \

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 \
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 \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfi-​skə-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ adjective

Synonyms for confiscate

Synonyms: Verb

attach, expropriate, sequester

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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

Chinese journalists also had equipment confiscated. James Griffiths, CNN, "How to get to North Korea's nuclear site," 23 May 2018 During the Obama administration, Cuban and U.S. delegations met to discuss the properties confiscated from U.S. citizens, but the negotiations went nowhere. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "They lost it all in Cuba. Now a seller wants $1,500 for their parents' wedding album | Miami Herald," 3 May 2018 Bejarano owned three similar restaurants in Veracruz, Mexico, before drug cartels took over the area, confiscating private property (including his home and all three of his restaurants) and forcing most honest business owners to move out. Courtney Dabney, star-telegram, "Pescatarian paradise: It's all about the seafood at this Veracruz-inspired restaurant | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 22 May 2018 The day before, authorities had tried unsuccessfully to detain the head police official in Ocampo, Óscar González García, confiscating his weapon and cellphone, according to Milenio. Samantha Schmidt, The Seattle Times, "An entire town’s police force is detained in Mexico after the killing of another candidate," 26 June 2018 DeLand police arrived, detaining Floyd and confiscating his gun. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'He has a gun': Man arrested after woman slips note pleading to be rescued, cops say," 26 May 2018 Security forces stormed Abbas' house in the Egyptian capital's district of New Cairo, confiscating his laptop, phone and books as well as a toy gun, according to his sister. Sarah El Sirgany, CNN, "Famous Egyptian blogger arrested in widening crackdown on dissent," 23 May 2018 Supervisors confiscated the brownies and called police. Scott Berson, charlotteobserver, "Michigan woman fired for baking laxatives into brownies at co-worker's party, cops say | Charlotte Observer," 15 May 2018 But the Inspector General’s review discovered that only once had that happened in 37 incidents over a recent 3 1/2-year period in which Chicago police confiscated a gun from a person before transporting him to a mental health facility. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago police overlooking tool to remove guns from those posing threat, city IG report finds," 25 Apr. 2018

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

The first known use of confiscate was circa 1533

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More Definitions for confiscate

confiscate

verb

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 \
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 \
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 \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfis-​kə-​ˌtōr-​ē \ adjective

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