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 If convicted, the generals faced having all their property confiscated and their Athenian citizenship revoked – changing them from national heroes to complete outcasts. Mark Munn, The Conversation, "Massive spending in a crisis brought bloody consequences in ancient Athens," 17 Apr. 2020 Korea threatens to confiscate Japanese companies’ assets, and Japan has imposed controls on exports to Korea. James Marson, WSJ, "NATO and Other Alliances Face Unprecedented Strains," 20 Jan. 2020 But police made some progress on the front, Craig said, adding that police made 12 arrests following those incidents, confiscated seven guns and negotiated a truce between some gangs in the 10th Precinct. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit saw more homicides, fewer rapes, and 300 new officers in 2019," 5 Jan. 2020 During the filming, Whitney got his phone confiscated and did a 60-day stint in confinement. Author: Romy Ellenbogen, Anchorage Daily News, "Bootleg film shows Florida prison in all its danger, squalor. An inmate shot it on the sly.," 7 Oct. 2019 To the Editors: My late grandfather Salman Schocken was the owner of a department store chain in Germany known as Kaufhaus Schocken, which was confiscated by the Nazis in 1938. David Motadel, The New York Review of Books, "Helping Hitler: An Exchange," 24 Mar. 2020 Less than fifteen percent of the subs are confiscated by authorities, meaning most of them are successful in reaching their destinations. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why Our Seas Are Suddenly Swimming With Drug-Running Narcosubs," 4 Mar. 2020 All religious colleges were shuttered in May 1961, their property confiscated by the state. Mona Charen, National Review, "The Moral Failing of Bernie Sanders," 26 Feb. 2020 Most of those Cubans came empty-handed, their possessions confiscated by the Castro regime. Alan Gomez, USA Today, "Before Super Bowl, Miami's Little Havana faces exodus of Cubans, pressure from developers," 31 Jan. 2020

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 7 Jun. 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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