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

Republicans quickly seized upon Ms. Gillibrand’s record, accusing her of charting a chameleon-like path in the Senate. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to Launch Exploratory Committee for 2020 Presidential Bid," 15 Jan. 2019 The email was contained in internal documents that were seized by the UK Parliament and revealed at a hearing today by MP Damian Collins, via Bloomberg. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Seized documents reveal that Facebook knew about Russian data harvesting as early as 2014," 27 Nov. 2018 Of the four Schwimmkräne built by Demag, one was destroyed during World War II by bombs during the Operation Gomorrah bombing raid. the remaining 3 were seized by the Allies from the German Kriegsmarine as war reparations. Tom Fowlks, Popular Mechanics, "The Floating Crane That Went From Tending Nazi U-Boats To Fixing the Panama Canal," 1 Aug. 2018 Only five states have laws allowing families to petition a court to temporarily seize weapons from people who exhibit dangerous behavior. NBC News, "Unlocked And loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 26 June 2018 They are then falsely marketed as pharmaceuticals such as oxycodone or Xanax, seizing upon America’s heavy demand for prescription painkillers. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fentanyl has taken over America's drug market. Where is it coming from?," 17 June 2018 Miller heavily implied that the accusers and magistrates of Salem were motivated by a combination of fear and greed, including a desire to seize the lands of the accused. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Trump’s favorite slander against Robert Mueller’s investigation has a very long history.," 26 Jan. 2019 After the announcement, a group of state and local leaders seized on the incentive package and questioned why one of the richest companies in the world was getting subsidies at all. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Amazon’s New York Project Foundered on Labor Organizing, Opposition to Subsidies," 16 Feb. 2019 As Ars has previously reported, in order to unmask Playpen's users, federal authorities seized and operated the site for 13 days before closing it down. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "ACLU to feds: Your “hacking presents a unique threat to individual privacy”," 21 Dec. 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

23 Mar 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 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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