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

Officers confiscated guns there, as well as at the Chatsworth ranch. Los Angeles Times, "From the Archives: Savage Mystic Cult Blamed for 5 Tate Murders, 6 Others," 28 July 2019 The officer confiscated the license plates and had the car towed from the scene. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Resident reports vehicle theft: Lakewood Police Blotter," 27 July 2019 What everyone’s talking about Costa Rica confiscated 30,000 bottles of liquor after 19 people died. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "Can someone read this for R. Kelly?," 22 July 2019 Security confiscated the case, which contained no explosives but instead five bricks of Jamaican marijuana. Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, "'Wild and Crazy Guys' looks at 80s comedy mavericks like Murray, Belushi and Aykroyd and how Chicago shaped them," 6 June 2019 Authorities confiscated Spunky and transferred him to Kukol, who lives on the outskirts of Pahrump, Nevada, on a property with a nine-foot perimeter fence and guard dogs. oregonlive.com, "The trouble with tigers in America," 13 July 2019 Last year, Dallas police confiscated 8,600 pounds of fireworks. Maria Elena Vizcaino María Méndez, Dallas News, "Want a poppin’ Fourth of July? Here’s what to keep in mind," 3 July 2019 Police confiscated a 9-inch railway spike knife belonging to the man. Brian Lisik, cleveland.com, "Fictitious license plates found with expired registration stickers: Brunswick Police Blotter," 23 June 2019 The department last year confiscated 2,275 guns in all of 2018. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Birmingham police chief: No need for National Guard to curb violence," 21 June 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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