Synonyms & Antonyms of seize

1 to have a clear idea of
  • a critic with a sharp intellect that is able to seize the most subtle nuances of a work of art

Synonyms for seize

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Antonyms for seize

2 to take or keep under one's control by authority of law
  • seized the leaders of one of the city's major drug rings

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Antonyms for seize

3 to take physical control or possession of (something) suddenly or forcibly
  • seized the escaping balloon just before it got out of reach

Synonyms for seize

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Phrases Synonymous with seize

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Antonyms for seize

4 to take or make use of under a guise of authority but without actual right
  • Richard III seized the English throne from his brother Edward in 1483

Synonyms for seize

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Frequently Asked Questions About seize

How is the word seize different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of seize are clutch, grab, grasp, snatch, and take. While all these words mean "to get hold of by or as if by catching up with the hand," 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

When might clutch be a better fit than seize?

While the synonyms clutch and seize are close in meaning, clutch suggests avidity or anxiety in seizing or grasping and may imply less success in holding.

clutching her purse

How are the words grab and snatch related as synonyms of seize?

Grab implies more roughness or rudeness than snatch.

grabbed roughly by the arm

When is it sensible to use grasp instead of seize?

The words grasp and seize are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, grasp stresses a laying hold so as to have firmly in possession.

grasp the handle and pull

How do snatch and seize relate to one another?

Snatch suggests more suddenness or quickness but less force than seize.

snatched a doughnut and ran

When could take be used to replace seize?

The words take and seize can be used in similar contexts, but take is a general term applicable to any manner of getting something into one's possession or control.

take some salad from the bowl

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Time Traveler for seize

Time Traveler

The first known use of seize was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Seize.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on seize

Nglish: Translation of seize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seize for Arabic Speakers


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