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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Synonyms for seizure


access, attack, bout, case, fit, siege, spell, turn

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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

In tonight’s episode, Ethel also has a seizure at a critical moment. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "What The Hell Is Going on With the Cult on Riverdale?," 18 Oct. 2018 While the surgery and reorganization was a triumph for UD—who has also been seizure free since the procedure—the researchers note his case raises a host of new questions. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Doctors cut out a large chunk of a boy’s brain—now he’s doing just fine," 1 Aug. 2018 Here’s an example where the Constitution and other legal materials do not provide easy answers: The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Carolyn Shapiro, Fortune, "Brett Kavanaugh Said Judges Should Just Follow the Law. Here’s Why That’s Bull," 10 July 2018 Mitchell argued the draw violated his constitutional rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Todd Richmond,, "Wisconsin court OKs unconscious drunken drivers’ blood draws," 4 July 2018 The Civil Rights Act guarantees citizens’ constitutionally protected civil rights, including the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Michael Mccann,, "Inside Sterling Brown’s compelling lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department and City of Milwaukee," 19 June 2018 Charlotte Caldwell says the oil has kept Billy seizure-free for more than 300 days. Washington Post, "UK changes course, allows epileptic boy to use cannabis oil," 16 June 2018 Cox, in his post Thursday night, singled out due process as something Trump supports — a suggestion Cox had explained to the president that conservatives would revolt against gun seizures by the government without due process. Anchorage Daily News, "NRA, after meeting with Trump, suggests he may retreat from gun control," 2 Mar. 2018 Those taking Epidiolex experienced dramatic reductions in the frequency of seizures. Jon Cooper, STAT, "New drug approval should force the DEA to rethink cannabis-derived medicines," 26 June 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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Statistics for seizure

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seizure

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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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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