seize

verb
\ ˈsēz How to pronounce seize (audio) \
seized; seizing

Definition of seize

transitive verb

1a usually seise \ ˈsēz How to pronounce seise (audio) \ : to vest ownership of a freehold estate in
b often seise : to put in possession of something the biographer will be seized of all pertinent papers
2a : to take possession of : confiscate
b : to take possession of by legal process
3a : to possess or take by force : capture
b : to take prisoner : arrest
4a : to take hold of : clutch
b : to possess oneself of : grasp
c : to understand fully and distinctly : apprehend
5a : to attack or overwhelm physically : afflict seized with chest pains
b : to possess (someone's thoughts, mind, etc.) completely or overwhelmingly seized the popular imagination— Basil Davenport
6 : to bind or fasten together with a lashing of small stuff (such as yarn, marline, or fine wire)

intransitive verb

1 : to take or lay hold suddenly or forcibly
2a : to cohere to a relatively moving part through excessive pressure, temperature, or friction used especially of machine parts (such as bearings, brakes, or pistons)
b : to fail to operate due to the seizing of a part used of an engine

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Other Words from seize

seizer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for seize

take, seize, grasp, clutch, snatch, grab mean to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand. take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control. take some salad from the bowl seize implies a sudden and forcible movement in getting hold of something tangible or an apprehending of something fleeting or elusive when intangible. seized the suspect grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession. grasp the handle and pull clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding. clutching her purse snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize. snatched a doughnut and ran grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch. grabbed roughly by the arm

Examples of seize in a Sentence

The bank seized their property. The army has seized control of the city. A rebel group attempted to seize power. He suddenly seized the lead in the final lap of the race. He seized her by the arm. He tried to seize the gun from him. She was seized by kidnappers and carried off to a hidden location. He seized the chance to present his ideas to his boss. Seizing the moment, she introduced herself to the famous film director.
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Recent Examples on the Web Butler shot 57% in the first half (16-of-28) in seizing a 42-38 lead. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Kamar Baldwin beats buzzer to lift Butler basketball to victory over Villanova," 6 Feb. 2020 Federal agents raided Gerber’s home with a search warrant and seized 17 firearms. oregonlive, "Coos Bay man sentenced to five years for selling firearms, meth to undercover federal agent," 5 Feb. 2020 The Court of Appeal in London on Wednesday dismissed Zamira Hajiyeva’s attempt to overturn the National Crime Agency’s asset-seizing order. BostonGlobe.com, "Woman in UK illicit-wealth case loses bid to recover assets," 5 Feb. 2020 For Democrats, the moment was thick with promise for a party that has seized major gains in states since Trump won the White House in 2016. Thomas Beaumont, Fortune, "Democratic candidates claim victory as Iowa continues its delayed caucus count," 4 Feb. 2020 Officers seized 112 grams of heroin, 21 grams of cocaine, more than 400 prescription pills, $8,591 cash from inside the home. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Convicted dogfighter charged after police find dead dog, 11 other dogs injured in backyard of Cleveland home," 4 Feb. 2020 An idea first floated by the Israeli far right thus made it into the mainstream of Israeli electoral politics, thanks to Netanyahu’s seizing upon it opportunistically as a potential gerrymandering scheme. Jo-ann Mort, The New York Review of Books, "The Trump–Netanyahu Plan to Force Arab Population Transfer," 3 Feb. 2020 In October 2018, law enforcement searched the Metropolitan Correctional Center, seizing Mr. Schulte’s notebooks. Rebecca Davis O’brien, WSJ, "Ex-CIA Engineer Set to Go on Trial for Massive Leak," 3 Feb. 2020 The regime intended to make Britain pay heavily for seizing its ship. The Economist, "Trapped in Iran," 28 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seize.' 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 seize

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for seize

Middle English saisen, from Anglo-French seisir, from Medieval Latin sacire, of Germanic origin; perhaps akin to Old High German sezzen to set — more at set

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Time Traveler for seize

Time Traveler

The first known use of seize was in the 14th century

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Statistics for seize

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seize. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for seize

seize

verb
How to pronounce seize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seize

: to use legal or official power to take (something)
: to get or take (something) in a forceful, sudden, or violent way
: to attack and take control of (a place) by force or violence

seize

verb
\ ˈsēz How to pronounce seize (audio) \
seized; seizing

Kids Definition of seize

1 : to take possession of by or as if by force Invaders seized the castle. He seized the lead.
2 : to take hold of suddenly or with force … Balin was just in time to seize the boat before it floated off …— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
3 : to take or use eagerly or quickly She seized the opportunity to go.
seized; seizing

Legal Definition of seize

1 or seise : to put in possession of property or vest with the right of possession or succession stand seized of land
2 : to take possession or custody of (property) especially by lawful authority seize drugs as evidence the entry of a preliminary order of forfeiture authorizes the Attorney General…to seize the specific property subject to forfeitureFederal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 32.2(b)(3) can seize the goods subject to his security interest and…keep them in satisfaction of the debt— J. J. White and R. S. Summers — compare foreclose, repossess
3 : to detain (a person) in such circumstances as would lead a reasonable person to believe that he or she was not free to leave determined that the defendant was seized when surrounded by police officers

Other Words from seize

seizable adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on seize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seize

Spanish Central: Translation of seize

Nglish: Translation of seize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seize for Arabic Speakers

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