- To seize is to take something eagerly, aggressively or by force.
- An example of seize is when you jump at a chance to go to the beach on a sunny day.
- An example of seize is when the police raid the home of a drug dealer and take his drugs.
transitive verbseized, seizing
- Historical to put in legal possession of a feudal holding
- to put in legal possession of a particular thing; assign ownership to: in the passive voice: seized of the lands
- to take forcible legal possession of; confiscate: to seize contraband
- to capture and put into custody; arrest; apprehend: to seize a criminal suspect
- to take forcibly and quickly; grab: to seize power
- to take hold of suddenly or forcibly, with or as with the hand; clutch
- to suddenly penetrate, illumine, or fill the mind of: an idea seized him
- to grasp with the mind, esp. in a sudden or intuitive way: seized their intent
- to take quick advantage of (an opportunity, etc.)
- to attack or afflict suddenly or severely: seized with a fit of sneezing
- Naut. to fasten together (ropes, etc.), as by lashings; bind; lash
Origin of seizeMiddle English saisen ; from Old French saisir ; from Medieval Latin sacire, probably ; from Frankish an unverified form sakjan, to lay claim to one's rights ; from Indo-European base an unverified form sāg- from source sake
seize onor seize upon
- to take hold of suddenly and forcibly
- to take possession of
- to turn eagerly to (an idea, etc.)
verbseized seized, seiz·ing, seiz·es
- To grasp suddenly and forcibly; take or grab: seize a sword.
- a. To take by force; capture or conquer: The kidnappers seized the prince. The invaders seized the city.b. To take quick and forcible possession of; confiscate: The police seized a cache of illegal drugs.
- a. To focus the attention or intellect on: seize an idea and develop it to the fullest extent.b. To make use of (an opportunity, for example).
- a. To have a sudden overwhelming effect on: a heinous crime that seized the minds and emotions of the populace.b. To overwhelm physically: a person who was seized with a terminal disease.
- also seise Law To cause (someone) to be in possession of something.
- Nautical To bind (a rope) to another, or to a spar, with turns of small line.
- To lay sudden or forcible hold of something.
- a. To cohere or fuse with another part as a result of high pressure or temperature and restrict or prevent further motion or flow.b. To come to a halt: The talks seized up and were rescheduled.
- To exhibit signs of seizure activity, often with convulsions.
Origin of seizeMiddle English seisen, from Old French seisir, to take possession, of Germanic origin.
(third-person singular simple present seizes, present participle seizing, simple past and past participle seized)
- to deliberately take hold of; to grab or capture
- to take advantage of (an opportunity or circumstance)
- to take possession of (by force, law etc.)
- to seize smuggled goods
- to seize a ship after libeling
- to have a sudden and powerful effect upon
- a panic seized the crowd
- a fever seized him
- (nautical) to bind, lash or make fast, with several turns of small rope, cord, or small line
- to seize two fish-hooks back to back
- to seize or stop one rope on to another
- (intransitive) to lay hold in seizure, by hands or claws (+ on or upon)
- to seize on the neck of a horse
- The text which had seized upon his heart with such comfort and strength abode upon him for more than a year. (Southey, Bunyan, p. 21)
- (intransitive) to have a seizure
- (intransitive) to bind or lock in position immovably; see also seize up
- Rust caused the engine to seize, never to run again.
Earlier seise, from Middle English seisen, sesen, saisen, from Old French seisir (“to take possession of; invest (person, court)”), from Medieval Latin sacīre (“to lay claim to, appropriate”) (8th century) in the phrase ad propriam sacire, from Old Low Frankish *sakjan (“to sue, bring legal action”), from Proto-Germanic *sakjaną, *sakōną (compare Old English sacian (“to strive, brawl”)), from Proto-Germanic *sakaną (compare Old Saxon sakan (“to accuse”), Old High German sahhan (“to bicker, quarrel, rebuke”), Old English sacan 'to quarrel, claim by law, accuse'). See sake.