Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

seize

[seez]
See more synonyms for seize on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), seized, seiz·ing.
  1. to take hold of suddenly or forcibly; grasp: to seize a weapon.
  2. to grasp mentally; understand clearly and completely: to seize an idea.
  3. to take possession of by force or at will: to seize enemy ships.
  4. to take possession or control of as if by suddenly laying hold: Panic seized the crowd.
  5. to take possession of by legal authority; confiscate: to seize smuggled goods.
  6. Also seise. Law. to put (someone) in seizin or legal possession of property (usually used in passive constructions): She was seized of vast estates.
  7. to capture; take into custody.
  8. to take advantage of promptly: to seize an opportunity.
  9. Nautical. to bind or fasten together with a seizing.
Show More
verb (used without object), seized, seiz·ing.
  1. to grab or take hold suddenly or forcibly (usually followed by on or upon): to seize on a rope.
  2. to resort to a method, plan, etc., in desperation (usually followed by on or upon): He must seize on a solution, however risky.
  3. 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.
Show More

Origin of seize

1250–1300; Middle English saisen, seisen < Old French saisir < Medieval Latin sacīre to place (in phrase sacīre ad propriētam to take as one's own, lay claim to) < Frankish, perhaps akin to Gothic satjan to set, put, place
Related formsseiz·a·ble, adjectiveseiz·er; Law. sei·zor [see-zer, -zawr] /ˈsi zər, -zɔr/, nounre·seize, verb (used with object), re·seized, re·seiz·ing.un·seiz·a·ble, adjectiveun·seized, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Synonym study

7. See catch.

Antonyms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

annexed, clutched, snatched

Examples from the Web for seized

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He was seized with fear for what he might do in his despair.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • In spite of the wound he seized the musket and forcibly wrested it from our hero.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • She had begun to pull away in alarm when he seized her wrist.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And you seized his cane in a fury, and broke it in returning the blow.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • In April, 1870, a party of English travelers in Greece were seized by brigands.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook


British Dictionary definitions for seized

seize

verb (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr foll by on ) to take hold of quickly; grabshe seized her hat and ran for the bus
  2. (sometimes foll by on or upon) to grasp mentally, esp rapidlyshe immediately seized his idea
  3. to take mental possession ofalarm seized the crowd
  4. to take possession of rapidly and forciblythe thief seized the woman's purse
  5. to take legal possession of; take into custody
  6. to take by force or capturethe army seized the undefended town
  7. to take immediate advantage ofto seize an opportunity
  8. nautical to bind (two ropes together or a piece of gear to a rope)See also serve (def. 19)
  9. (intr often foll by up) (of mechanical parts) to become jammed, esp because of excessive heat
  10. (passive usually foll by of) to be apprised of; conversant with
  11. the usual US spelling of seise
Show More
Derived Formsseizable, adjective

Word Origin

C13 saisen, from Old French saisir, from Medieval Latin sacīre to position, of Germanic origin; related to Gothic satjan to set 1
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

Word Origin and History for seized

seize

v.

mid-13c., from Old French seisir "to take possession of, take by force; put in possession of, bestow upon" (Modern French saisir), from Late Latin sacire, which is generally held to be from a Germanic source, but the exact origin is uncertain. Perhaps from Frankish *sakjan "lay claim to" (cf. Gothic sokjan, Old English secan "to seek;" see seek). Or perhaps from Proto-Germanic *satjan "to place" (see set (v.)).

Originally a legal term in reference to feudal property holdings or offices. Meaning "to grip with the hands or teeth" is from c.1300; that of "to take possession by force or capture" (of a city, etc.) is from mid-14c. Figurative use, with reference to death, disease, fear, etc. is from late 14c. Meaning "to grasp with the mind" is attested from 1855. Of engines or other mechanisms, attested from 1878. Related: Seized; seizing.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper