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 The journalists wanted to secure the archive outside Brazil as soon as possible, in case authorities tried to confiscate it. Darren Loucaides, Wired, "The Scammer Who Wanted to Save His Country," 13 Nov. 2020 Human rights organizations have said that, despite rules outlawing the practice, employers have continued to confiscate passports. Simone Foxman, Bloomberg.com, "Why ‘Kafala’ Labor Rules Are an Issue in Persian Gulf," 17 Sep. 2020 The pro-Russian church argued that the law allows the Montenegrin state to confiscate its property as a prelude to setting up a separate Montenegrin church. Predrag Milic, Star Tribune, "Head of church in Montenegro dies after COVID-19 infection," 30 Oct. 2020 Menem expanded Argentina's high court from five justices to nine, in order to prevent the court from striking down his plans to confiscate businesses. Fox News, "When court packing goes wrong: Venezuela and other Latin American countries offer sobering reality," 15 Oct. 2020 Her license was taken under a state law that allows police to confiscate the licenses of drivers who are deemed unfit to drive. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Car crashes through South Windsor 7-Eleven, driver loses license, police say," 16 Oct. 2020 Those criteria, however, state that inspectors may confiscate animals that are suffering as a result of an exhibitor’s failure to comply with the Animal Welfare Act. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "‘Tiger King’ zoo owner loses license, plots new animal venture," 6 Oct. 2020 At one point, a scuffle broke out when officers tried to confiscate a sign from a demonstrator, according to video from the scene. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Portland police seize shields, arrest 24 before march; one officer hospitalized," 29 Sep. 2020 But in the utility arena, the legislature had the power to confiscate the money from other customers, and will do so. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Taxpayers and ratepayers in Virginia will foot bill on utility shutoff moratorium," 18 Sep. 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 1 Dec. 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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Comments on confiscate

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