Definition of seize
1a usually seiseplay \ˈsēz\ : to vest ownership of a freehold estate inb often seise : to put in possession of something the biographer will be seized of all pertinent papers
2a : to take possession of : confiscateb : to take possession of by legal process
5a : to attack or overwhelm physically : afflict seized with chest painsb : 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)
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
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.
Recent Examples of seize from the Web
Three years after seizing control of the great alluvial plains of the Tigris and Euphrates, Islamic State (IS), which has claimed so many victims in north-western Iraq, Syria and beyond, is finally dying.
She was allowed to keep $2.5 million of her family's sizable assets, thanks to a deal Bernie made with the prosecutors; the rest of their $80 million fortune was immediately seized to help repay victims.
Though Yemenis physically seized him, American intelligence allegedly directed his detention from the shadows.
That pledge was hardly unique among Republicans last year who swept to historic gains and seized a supermajority in the Kentucky House.
The U.S. heavily bombed the Cambodian countryside during the 1970-75 civil war that led to the Khmer Rouge seizing power.
Until now, Amazon Prime streaming has been ad-free, but the NFL gives the company a gateway to begin seizing significant TV ad budgets.
The property, which includes a residential duplex, was seized by the federal government July 3, 2014, according to a letter provided in March from the office of Mitzi Snelson, assistant chief of asset management and real property for the DOJ.
France sent a military force to Mali in 2013 to drive out fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups, some of which were linked to al-Qaeda, which had seized key cities in the country’s north.
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.
Synonym Discussion of seize
SEIZE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of seize for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of seize for Students
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.
Legal Definition of seize
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 forfeiture — Federal 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
Seen and Heard
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