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

Unlike the other candidates, who have advocated banning the further sale of assault weapons, O’Rourke’s plan involves confiscating such weapons under a forced buyback program. Tara Law, Time, "Beto O'Rourke's Bold Statement on Gun Control: 'Hell Yes' He Wants to Take Your AR-15," 13 Sep. 2019 Then, in December, the police came to confiscate the wildlife. Kirsten Luce, National Geographic, "How one Amazon community is trying to move on from illegal wildlife tourism," 15 Aug. 2019 When Wang’s grandmother visited, producers turned off playback monitors and Wang scrambled to confiscate T-shirts that bore Nai Nai’s name. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "When a Lie Becomes Your Breakout Film," 14 July 2019 Despite the Klu Klux Klan's attempts to confiscate its pages, the Defender spread through the South. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The ‘Chicago Defender,’ an Iconic Black Newspaper, to Release Its Last Print Issue," 9 July 2019 Navajo leaders and families fought the government, but in the end, many had their animals confiscated and sold, slaughtered or herded off canyon cliffs to their deaths. Betty Reid, azcentral, "To Chester Nez, last of the original Code Talkers, the words are more than a code," 29 Aug. 2019 Papineau and Wright then confiscated the fish and issued the extreme angler a ticket. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Gladwin fisherman caught with more than 1,400 panfish in garage," 22 Aug. 2019 The law punishes aid vessels entering Italian waters, allowing officials to confiscate them and impose million-euro fines on captains who defy the law. New York Times, "After Desperate Migrants Jump Ship, Italy Allows Rescue Vessel to Dock," 20 Aug. 2019 Drugs will be confiscated and then the person will be paired with a CCAR counselor. Steve Smith, courant.com, "Rockville Hospital, Police Partner To Treat Addiction," 8 Aug. 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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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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