sei·zure | \ˈsē-zhər \

Definition of seizure 

1a : the act, action, or process of seizing : the state of being seized

b : the taking possession of person or property by legal process

2a : a sudden attack (as of disease) especially : the physical manifestations (such as convulsions, sensory disturbances, or loss of consciousness) resulting from abnormal electrical discharges in the brain (as in epilepsy)

b : an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain

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Examples of seizure in a Sentence

the seizure of power by the rebels property that is protected from seizure the seizure of evidence by the police Not all searches and seizures by the police require a warrant.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Brandon suffered from a seizure at home in Granite Falls, N.C. and then a subsequent one on the way to the hospital, Kenneth Church, the man's father states. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Eric Church Honors Late Brother Brandon With Moving Concert Tribute: Watch," 10 July 2018 Protecting those values will necessarily generate inconsistencies because those values are implicated in different ways in cases concerning affirmative action than in cases concerning reproductive rights or Fourth Amendment search and seizure. Nancy L. Combs, Vox, "An optimist and yet a realist: a former clerk to Justice Kennedy considers his legacy," 30 June 2018 Thapar is considered tough on criminal cases, often siding with police and prosecutors on search-and-seizure cases. Dan Horn,, "Cincinnati and the Supreme Court: Two judges here are on Trump's list for high court," 28 June 2018 In 2016, a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals judge decided that cellphone location data was not protected under the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure and, therefore, should not require a warrant. Monica Rodriguez, Fortune, "Law Enforcement Agencies Need a Warrant to Access Cellphone Location Data, Supreme Court Rules," 22 June 2018 The justices' vigorous defense of Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure has been fueled in part by their skepticism of government power, as well as the rapid development of increasingly intrusive technology. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "From heroin in rental car trunk to stolen motorcycle, Supreme Court defends privacy rights," 1 June 2018 In his new legal complaint against Dunham and the City of Charlotte, Yarborough alleges that the officer assaulted him while violating his constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure. Michael Gordon, charlotteobserver, "Lawsuit says Charlotte cop put gun to head of unarmed man, then lied to justify it," 1 June 2018 Duncan, 36, and Harvey, 29, are suing the Police Department and two of its gang detectives on accusations of violating their constitutional rights to free speech and unlawful search and seizure relating to their 2014 arrests. Kristina Davis,, "Rapper 'Tiny Doo' and college student arrested under controversial gang law get day in court against police," 22 May 2018 Byrd's lawyer sought to suppress the evidence against him, citing the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. CNN, "Supreme Court upholds privacy rights for unauthorized rental car drivers in search and seizure case," 14 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seizure.' 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 seizure

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near seizure

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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The first known use of seizure was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of seizure

: the act of taking control of something especially by force or violence

law : the act of taking something by legal authority

medical : an abnormal state in which you become unconscious and your body moves in an uncontrolled and violent way


sei·zure | \ˈsē-zhər \

Kids Definition of seizure

1 : an act of taking suddenly or with force : the state of being taken suddenly or with force

2 : an abnormal state in which a person usually experiences convulsions and may become unconscious


sei·zure | \ˈsē-zhər \

Medical Definition of seizure 

1 : a sudden attack (as of disease) especially : the physical manifestations (as convulsions, sensory disturbances, or loss of consciousness) resulting from abnormal electrical discharges in the brain (as in epilepsy)

2 : an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain

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sei·zure | \ˈsē-zhər \

Legal Definition of seizure 

: the act, fact, or process of seizing: as

a : the seizing of property that involves meaningful interference with a person's possessory interest in it seizure of evidence found in plain view — see also plain view sense 2

b : the seizing of a person (as for arrest or investigation) — see also arrest, stop — compare search

Note: The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. It requires that a warrant may issue only upon probable cause, and that the warrant particularly describe the persons or things to be seized. Not all seizures, however, require a warrant. A seizure that constitutes an arrest requires probable cause to be reasonable, and a stop usually requires reasonable suspicion of the particular person or persons stopped, although stops like those at drunk driving checkpoints may be justified by a plan that places explicit and neutral limitations on the conduct of police officers with no requirement of individualized suspicion.

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Comments on seizure

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not any or not one

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