- 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, seiz′ing
- 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 bind (large ropes) together with cords, small lines, etc.
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 s?g- from source sake
- to stick or jam, esp. because of excessive heat or friction: said of a machine or its moving parts: often with up
- to have a seizure, often, specif., an epileptic seizure
- to take hold of suddenly and forcibly
- to take possession of
- to turn eagerly to (an idea, etc.)
verbseized, 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 sacÄ«re (“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 *sakjanÄ…, *sakÅnÄ… (compare Old English sacian (“to strive, brawl")), from Proto-Germanic *sakanÄ… (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.