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

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

Nonetheless, they are harassed by both the rebels and the government forces, who shake them down for bribes by confiscating equipment and jailing workers. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Gender-bending ballet, ground-breaking theater, and Burmese brothers," 31 May 2018 Saline police chief Jerrod Hart said management got a tip from an employee who had been made aware of the brownies’ purgative properties, and after confiscating the offending baked goods, contacted the authorities. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Woman Baked Laxative-Filled Brownies for Co-worker’s Good-bye Party," 15 May 2018 Fast forward to 1998, detective Poole who is now firmly off the Biggie case, is assigned to another case in which a dirty cop has been accused of stealing confiscated cocaine from the evidence facility. Scott Glaysher, Billboard, "'Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.' Episodes 5 & 6: Beef Intensifies Between Bad Boy and Death Row," 4 Apr. 2018 Police arrested him on March 15 after confiscating several of his digital devices, according to Coloradoan.com. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Colorado man collected 700,000 images, videos of child porn, police say | The Kansas City Star," 27 Mar. 2018 That life ends for Zuleikha when Red Army soldiers show up to confiscate Murtaza’s property and force him to join a collective farm. Maria Danilova, The Seattle Times, "Russian novel tells story of survival, love in Stalin’s camp," 14 Jan. 2019 As Elin spoke into her phone's camera, staff and passengers urged her to sit down, and some tried to confiscate her phone. Kate Leaver, Teen Vogue, "Swedish Student Elin Ersson Stopped a Deportation With a Facebook Live Protest on a Plane," 25 July 2018 Anti-government conservatives had long feared that democracy would facilitate the many to confiscate the resources of the few; meanwhile demographic change has overlaid a parallel ethnic pessimism. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Anti-Trump Right Has Become Trump’s Base," 3 July 2018 And, more importantly, was TSA going to confiscate her food? Martine Powers, Anchorage Daily News, "TSA screeners nibbling away at travelers' patience. This time over snacks.," 2 July 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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Statistics for confiscate

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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 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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Comments on confiscate

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