confiscate

adjective
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) , kən-ˈfi-skət How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \

Definition of confiscate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : appropriated by the government : forfeited
2 : deprived of property by confiscation

confiscate

verb
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \
confiscated; confiscating

Definition of confiscate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to seize as forfeited to the public treasury
2 : to seize by or as if by authority

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Other Words from confiscate

Verb

confiscation \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈskā-​shən How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfi-​skə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for confiscate

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of confiscate in a Sentence

Verb Guards confiscated knives and other weapons from the prisoners. The teacher confiscated all cell phones for the duration of the field trip.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Civil asset forfeiture allows the authorities to confiscate items like cash and cars even without charging the people forced to give up their property. NBC News, 16 Oct. 2021 Chicago police confiscate thousands of firearms off the city streets each year, and the number of ghost guns typically has been a small percentage of those seizures. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Things may get much worse for him as Denmark passed a new law earlier this year that allows authorities to confiscate and auction the vehicles of reckless drivers. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, 12 Oct. 2021 Money, too: Mills was able to buy a French villa shortly after her 18th birthday (though the British tax authorities would later confiscate most of her prematurity earnings). Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2021 On Friday, prosecutors filed complaints to confiscate money from more box holders. Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2021 His presidential bid revealed progressive stances that could hurt him with some voters in Texas, including his pledge to confiscate assault-style weapons like the AR-15 rifle, if given the chance. Dallas News, 19 Sep. 2021 In 2015, the Providence City Council passed an ordinance to ban off-road vehicles, and then two years later, passed another ordinance to allow police to confiscate and destroy them. BostonGlobe.com, 10 Aug. 2021 Knox stash of gold was a consequence of FDR’s decision to confiscate gold from the U.S. citizenry in 1934. John Tamny, Forbes, 5 July 2021

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

Adjective

circa 1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for confiscate

Adjective

Latin confiscatus, past participle of confiscare to confiscate, from com- + fiscus treasury

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Time Traveler for confiscate

Time Traveler

The first known use of confiscate was circa 1533

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Dictionary Entries Near confiscate

confiscatable

confiscate

confiserie

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Statistics for confiscate

Cite this Entry

“Confiscate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confiscate. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for confiscate

confiscate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of confiscate

: to take (something) away from someone especially as punishment or to enforce the law or rules

confiscate

verb
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \
confiscated; confiscating

Kids Definition of confiscate

: to seize by or as if by public authority Police confiscated the stolen car.

Other Words from confiscate

confiscation \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈskā-​shən \ noun

confiscate

transitive verb
con·​fis·​cate | \ ˈkän-fə-ˌskāt How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \
confiscated; confiscating

Legal Definition of confiscate

: to seize without compensation as forfeited to the public treasury — compare criminal forfeiture

Note: Illegal items such as narcotics or firearms, or profits from the sale of illegal items, may be confiscated by law enforcement officers. Additionally, government action that reduces the value of property to a person or entity as to make it nearly worthless has been held to constitute confiscation. Examples of such government action include the passage of zoning laws that prevent the use of land for its designated purpose and the setting of utility rates so low that the utility company cannot realize a reasonable return on its investment.

Other Words from confiscate

confiscation \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈskā-​shən How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \ noun
confiscator \ ˈkän-​fə-​ˌskā-​tər How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \ noun
confiscatory \ kən-​ˈfis-​kə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce confiscate (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on confiscate

Nglish: Translation of confiscate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of confiscate for Arabic Speakers

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