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 Hickenlooper, a two-term Colorado governor and ex-Denver mayor, defeated Andrew Romanoff Tuesday to represent his party in one of the fall's marquee Senate races as Democrats try to seize control of the chamber from the GOP. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Hickenlooper overcomes campaign bungles to win Democratic Colorado Senate primary," 30 June 2020 Open-mindedness is a key ingredient in your efforts to conquer tough challenges and seize new opportunities. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "Instead of your glass half-full, try it completely empty," 27 June 2020 Council members who support the change wanted to seize on a groundswell of support for significant policing changes following Floyd’s death. Washington Post, "Plan advances to allow dismantling Minneapolis Police Dept.," 26 June 2020 The building itself seeks to embody the landscape, with displays arranged along a walking course that meanders like a creek and big windows that seize on views of adjacent gardens and woods. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "SF breaks ground on nature center near Sunol to spotlight its water," 26 June 2020 Earlier, the Trump administration had filed a lawsuit asking the judge to seize Bolton's proceeds from the book. Editors, USA TODAY, "Voters cast their ballots in Kentucky, New York and Virginia; John Bolton's book is out: 5 things to know Tuesday," 23 June 2020 Suppose Congress wanted to seize the moment and make real progress on police reform. William A. Galston, WSJ, "The Police Reform Americans Want," 23 June 2020 The judge cited a 1980 Supreme Court ruling that allowed the CIA to seize proceeds from a former officer who had failed to submit his manuscript for review. Anchorage Daily News, "Justice Department seeks emergency order to block publication of Bolton’s book," 18 June 2020 In Wisconsin, law enforcement's use of armored vehicles prompted controversy in 2014 when Marathon County sheriff's officials sent an armored vehicle to seize property from an elderly couple in the Town of Stettin. Sarah Volpenhein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin police departments have more than $45 million in surplus military equipment, including armored vehicles," 16 June 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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seize. Accessed 11 Jul. 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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