seize

verb
\ ˈsēz \
seized; seizing

Definition of seize

transitive verb

1a usually seise \ ˈsēz \ : 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

Corporations are fueling record investment in U.S. wind and solar power, seizing an opportunity to show consumers their environmental stripes while also taking advantage of plunging costs and favorable tax breaks. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "From Beer to Casinos, Businesses Turn to Solar, Wind Power," 30 Jan. 2019 To keep them from seizing, convulsing, or exhibiting any other outward signs of the adverse effects of the drugs that were actually killing them. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "The Untested Drugs at the Heart of Nevada's Execution Controversy," 11 July 2018 That’s nothing, because last month, the Oakland Police Department seized 2 tons of fireworks from a storage unit in San Leandro. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, "Fireworks fascination can never be defused, so keep your ears plugged," 9 July 2018 President Trump would then, with some relief, seize the opportunity to agree with the Kremlin—by asserting the dangers of the new nascent nuclear arms race. Evelyn Farkas, Time, "How Trump Could Actually Make the Summit with Putin a Success," 9 July 2018 Investigators seized assault rifle manufacturing equipment and parts along with 3 pounds of methamphetamine, vehicles and a silencer, as well as a stack of bulletproof vests. Richard Winton, latimes.com, "L.A. gangs stockpile untraceable 'ghost guns' that members make themselves," 6 July 2018 In the event of non-payment, the ruling said, the paper could be seized and sold at auction. Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "As it slides toward authoritarianism, Venezuela targets one of its last independent newspapers," 5 July 2018 More: Bills training camp questions: Will Josh Allen seize starting QB job? Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Dolphins training camp questions: What will Ryan Tannehill's return mean for Miami?," 25 June 2018 However, Forest appear to have seized the initiative in tabling an offer for the 30-year-old, who has fallen out of favour at the Vitality Stadium in recent times. SI.com, "Bournemouth Accept £6m Bid From Nottingham Forest For Unwanted Striker Lewis Grabban," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for seize

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seize

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

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More Definitions for seize

seize

verb

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 \
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

Comments on seize

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