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

The police haven’t confiscated any assets or earnings from the alleged kidnappings. David Luhnow, WSJ, "Mexicans, Hit by Murder Wave, Face Long, Often Futile Wait for Justice," 25 Dec. 2018 The first gun seizure under the law occurred in April when Florida authorities confiscated an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle from an Army veteran. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "More than 450 people in Florida ordered to give up guns under new law, report says," 30 July 2018 The incident where Tiger was originally taken into the care of HAWS occurred in March 2015 when Waukesha police confiscated approximately 300 chinchillas from a rental home in the city of Waukesha. Nicole Aimone, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chinchilla linked to 2015 animal hording incident in Waukesha has been adopted from HAWS for the second time," 13 June 2018 In the wake of the FBI’s raid on Cohen’s office and residences, where investigators confiscated records pertaining to his payment to Clifford, these payouts could well present a major legal problem for Trump. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Another Trump hush-money scandal raises questions about his hidden debts.," 12 Apr. 2018 Members of the megachurch, however, have previously clashed with the authorities, including in 2009 when the police confiscated Bibles and imprisoned several of the congregation’s leaders. Russell Goldman, New York Times, "Chinese Police Dynamite Christian Megachurch," 12 Jan. 2018 Citizens who behave inconsiderately in public, like walking their dogs off-leash, can have their dogs confiscated and be required to take an exam to get the pets back. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Spend “frivolously” and be penalized under China’s new social credit system," 2 Nov. 2018 Get our daily newsletter His United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) had powers to inspect any building, to confiscate documents and to seize and destroy weapons and equipment. The Economist, "How Iraq was deprived of its weapons of mass destruction," 5 July 2018 The Massachusetts State Police bomb squad assisted Beverly police with confiscating and destroying the 168 homemade fireworks, according to the Facebook post. Thomas Oide, BostonGlobe.com, "Beverly police seize cache of homemade fireworks, issue warning to public," 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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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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