Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near seize

Cite this Entry

“Seize.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on seize

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!