confiscate

adjective
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt , kən-ˈfi-skət \

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 \
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 \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfi-​skə-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ 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

Much of his property, the poem implies, had been confiscated. Gregg Opelka, WSJ, "Mega Millions? I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing," 22 Oct. 2018 The dog, Dallas, along with 30 other pit bulls, were confiscated by officials with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) in 2015, according to The Washington Post. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Pit bull formerly used in fighting ring joins Virginia police department," 25 Sep. 2018 Its property was confiscated and its members stripped of their rank. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, "Meet the Americans Following in the Footsteps of the Knights Templar," 28 June 2018 The political banners, which aren't allowed in the building's lobby, were confiscated by police. Marissa J. Lang, chicagotribune.com, "More than 500 arrested as women rally in D.C. to protest Trump's immigration policy," 28 June 2018 The political banners, which aren’t allowed in the building’s lobby, were confiscated by police. Marissa J. Lang, Washington Post, "‘We will not obey’: 575 arrested as hundreds of women rally in D.C. to protest Trump’s immigration policy," 28 June 2018 The man's weapon and permit were temporarily confiscated by police. Indianapolis Star, "6 times someone accidentally fired a gun in public in Indiana," 27 June 2018 Horns from a sublegal sheep were also confiscated during the investigation. Anchorage Daily News, "Colorado hunting guide accused of wasting meat fined $35,000," 8 June 2018 The works were then confiscated and deposited at the Jeu de Paume for further processing. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Did Christie’s Do Its Homework? Buyer of Nazi-Tainted Work Says No," 3 June 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 \
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 \
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 \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfis-​kə-​ˌtōr-​ē \ adjective

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