to take hold of suddenly or forcibly; grasp: to seize a weapon.
to grasp mentally; understand clearly and completely: to seize an idea.
to take possession of by force or at will: to seize enemy ships.
to take possession or control of as if by suddenly laying hold: Panic seized the crowd.
to take possession of by legal authority; confiscate: to seize smuggled goods.
Also seise .Law. to put (someone) in seizin or legal possession of property (usually used in passive constructions): She was seized of vast estates.
to capture; take into custody.
to take advantage of promptly: to seize an opportunity.
Nautical. to bind or fasten together with a seizing.
to grab or take hold suddenly or forcibly (usually followed by on or upon): to seize on a rope.
to resort to a method, plan, etc., in desperation (usually followed by on or upon): He must seize on a solution, however risky.
to have moving parts bind and stop moving as a result of excessive pressure, temperature, or friction (usually followed by up): The engine seized up from cold.
to have a seizure, as of epilepsy: He seized for about five minutes and then lost consciousness.
(of melted chocolate) to become grainy and clumpy from overheating or from contact with a small amount of moisture (often followed by up): If the butter is too cold, the frosting will seize.
- seiz·a·ble, adjective
- seiz·er; Law. sei·zor [see-zer, -zawr], /ˈsi zər, -zɔr/, noun
- re·seize, verb (used with object), re·seized, re·seiz·ing.
- un·seiz·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use seize in a sentence
In fact, the opposite can be the case — which means that proponents of a financial transactions tax are seizing on the GameStop saga.
Policymakers may be able to seize this moment as an opportunity to push new legislation and invest in developing EV technology.GM wants its cars to be fully electric by 2035. Here’s what that could mean for auto emissions. | Ula Chrobak | February 4, 2021 | Popular-Science
With extremist groups already looking to seize the moment, Q believers are facing at least three major paths.
A new generation of change-makers has seized upon the idea in ways unimaginable in 1987.
After multiple weeks of quarantining and frequent testing, Chandler seized that opportunity with a game-high 26 points in Monday’s win.In search of top competition, high school basketball powerhouses are still crisscrossing the country | Kyle Melnick | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
The risk to his life was great enough that he had to flee Munich when Hitler attempted to seize power in November 1923.
They tried to seize funds that were raised for his legal defense.Sentencing Looms for Barrett Brown, Advocate for “Anonymous” | Kevin M. Gallagher | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Patriot Act allows the Department of Justice to seize foreign bank assets in U.S. accounts.
Whether they will seize the moment, or play the same old politics as usual, remains to be seen.
Imagine being an Iraq vet who lost friends securing a place such as Fallujah only to see ISIS now seize it.It’s Time for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans to Get a Parade of Their Own | Michael Daly | November 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The blind Samson of labor will seize upon the pillars of society and bring them down in a common destruction.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
Relations became so strained that Bonaparte was soon glad to seize on any excuse to dismiss Lannes from his post.
Vienna capitulated and the Marshals pressed on to seize the bridge before the city.
On the afternoon of July 5th it fell to the lot of Macdonald to attempt to seize the plateau which formed the Austrian centre.
So she sprang away from me, laughing, and quick as I reached out to seize her, she avoided me.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
British Dictionary definitions for seize
(also intr foll by on ) to take hold of quickly; grab: she seized her hat and ran for the bus
(sometimes foll by on or upon) to grasp mentally, esp rapidly: she immediately seized his idea
to take mental possession of: alarm seized the crowd
to take possession of rapidly and forcibly: the thief seized the woman's purse
to take legal possession of; take into custody
to take by force or capture: the army seized the undefended town
to take immediate advantage of: to seize an opportunity
nautical to bind (two ropes together or a piece of gear to a rope): See also serve (def. 19)
(intr often foll by up) (of mechanical parts) to become jammed, esp because of excessive heat
(passive usually foll by of) to be apprised of; conversant with
the usual US spelling of seise
- seizable, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012