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

Power outages and water shortages that spread throughout the country starting in March have fueled protests against Maduro, but an effort by his opponents to seize control at the end of April fizzled. Washington Post, "The Standoff in Venezuela, Explained," 18 Sep. 2019 After Duxbury senior captain Abby Krahmer delivered two minutes in, the Wamps responded by scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half to seize a 3-1 lead headed into the break. BostonGlobe.com, "Duxbury, however, was a measuring stick for the Wamps.," 17 Sep. 2019 Allen’s heroics diminish the intensity of Game 7 in hindsight, though in the moment, San Antonio was in position to seize the championship down two in the fourth quarter. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Ranking the Best NBA Finals of the Past Decade," 16 Sep. 2019 Now could be the time to craft a larger role for Hill – although Bridgewater undoubtedly wants to seize this opportunity to cap his tremendous comeback from a 2016 knee injury seemingly threatened his career. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Roethlisberger, Brees injuries shake up NFL playoff races, force hard look at the future," 16 Sep. 2019 Trump’s critics in New Mexico were also looking to seize on the visit, with protesters planning demonstrations and Democratic lawmakers, including Luján, planning their own rally. Jordan Fabian, Fortune, "At Rio Rancho Rally, Trump Vows to Win New Mexico," 16 Sep. 2019 The tigers’ removal turned into a highly public spectacle as monks and their supporters blocked the main gate at one point to prevent park rangers from entering the compound to seize the tigers. New York Times, "86 Tigers From Notorious Thai Temple Died in Government Custody," 16 Sep. 2019 In the East Bay, cases included a man whose psychiatrist called Hayward police in July concerned the patient was hearing voices and had guns, prompting authorities to seize a rifle and pistol from him last month. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, "How California’s ‘red flag’ law thwarted gun threats at Sunnyvale Ford, Netflix, and Palo Alto City Hall," 15 Sep. 2019 Chances were there to seize a two-score lead early - those missed opportunities cost it dearly. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "Texas falls to LSU in instant classic," 7 Sep. 2019

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

19 Oct 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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