AskDefine | Define seize

Dictionary Definition



1 take hold of; grab; "The salesclerk quickly seized the money on the counter"; "She clutched her purse"; "The mother seized her child by the arm"; "Birds of prey often seize small mammals" [syn: prehend, clutch]
2 take or capture by force; "The terrorists seized the politicians"; "The rebels threaten to seize civilian hostages"
3 take possession of by force, as after an invasion; "the invaders seized the land and property of the inhabitants"; "The army seized the town"; "The militia captured the castle" [syn: appropriate, capture, conquer]
4 take temporary possession of as a security, by legal authority; "The FBI seized the drugs"; "The customs agents impounded the illegal shipment"; "The police confiscated the stolen artwork" [syn: impound, attach, sequester, confiscate]
5 seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession; "He assumed to himself the right to fill all positions in the town"; "he usurped my rights"; "She seized control of the throne after her husband died" [syn: assume, usurp, take over, arrogate]
6 hook by a pull on the line; "strike a fish"
7 affect; "Fear seized the prisoners"; "The patient was seized with unberable pains"; "He was seized with a dreadful disease" [syn: clutch, get hold of]
8 capture the attention or imagination of; "This story will grab you"; "The movie seized my imagination" [syn: grab]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. To deliberately take hold of; to grab or capture.
  2. To take advantage of (an opportunity or circumstance).
  3. To have a seizure.
  4. To bind or lock in position immovably.
    Rust caused the engine to seize, never to run again.


take advantage





Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Seize may have the following meanings.

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abduct, absorb, accroach, adopt, afflict, annex, appreciate, apprehend, appropriate, arrest, arrogate, assimilate, assume, assume command, be acquainted with, be apprised of, be aware of, be cognizant of, be conscious of, be conversant with, be informed, be with one, beset, bind, bust, capture, carry, carry off, catch, catch at, catch on, clutch, cognize, collar, commandeer, comprehend, conceive, conceptualize, confiscate, dig, digest, discern, encroach, expropriate, fasten, fasten upon, fathom, follow, get, get hold of, get the drift, get the idea, get the picture, grab, grapple, grasp, grip, have, have information about, have it taped, have knowledge of, hold, impound, infringe, invade, jam, jump, jump at, ken, kidnap, know, latch, learn, lock up, make an arrest, make out, master, mount the throne, nab, nail, net, nick, occupy, perceive, pick up, pinch, play God, possess, pounce upon, preempt, prehend, pretend to, put under arrest, read, realize, recognize, round up, savvy, scramble for, secure, see, seize on, seize power, seize the meaning, seize the throne, sense, sequester, shanghai, snap at, snatch, snatch at, spring upon, stick, stop, subject, swoop down upon, take, take advantage of, take away, take captive, take charge, take command, take hold of, take in, take into custody, take over, take possession of, take prisoner, take the helm, take the lead, throttle, transfix, trespass, understand, usurp, visit, wot, wot of
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