What does seize mean?

Definitions for seize

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word seize.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. seize, prehend, clutchverb

    take hold of; grab

    "The sales clerk 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"

  2. seizeverb

    take or capture by force

    "The terrorists seized the politicians"; "The rebels threaten to seize civilian hostages"

  3. appropriate, capture, seize, conquerverb

    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"

  4. impound, attach, sequester, confiscate, seizeverb

    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"

  5. assume, usurp, seize, take over, arrogateverb

    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"

  6. seizeverb

    hook by a pull on the line

    "strike a fish"

  7. seize, clutch, get hold ofverb


    "Fear seized the prisoners"; "The patient was seized with unbearable pains"; "He was seized with a dreadful disease"

  8. grab, seizeverb

    capture the attention or imagination of

    "This story will grab you"; "The movie seized my imagination"


  1. seizeverb

    to deliberately take hold of; to grab or capture

  2. seizeverb

    to take advantage of (an opportunity or circumstance)

  3. seizeverb

    to take possession of (by force, law etc.)

  4. seizeverb

    to have a sudden and powerful effect upon

  5. seizeverb

    to bind, lash or make fast, with several turns of small rope, cord, or small line

  6. seizeverb

    to fasten, fix

  7. seizeverb

    to lay hold in seizure, by hands or claws (+ on or upon)

  8. seizeverb

    to have a seizure

  9. seizeverb

    to bind or lock in position immovably; see also seize up

    Rust caused the engine to seize, never to run again.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To SEIZEverb

    Etymology: saisir, French.

    In her sad breast the prince’s fortunes rowl,
    And hope and doubt alternate seize her soul. Alexander Pope.

    An escheator of London had arrested a clothier that was outlawed, and seized his goods. William Camden.

    It was judged by the highest kind of judgment, that he should be banished, and his whole estate confiscated and seized, and his houses pulled down. Francis Bacon.

    So th’ one for wrong, the other strives for right:
    As when a griffin, seized of his prey,
    A dragon fierce encount’reth in his flight,
    Through wildest air making his idle way. Fa. Queen.

    So Pluto, seiz’d of Proserpine, convey’d
    To hell’s tremenduous gloom th’ affrighted maid,
    There grimly smil’d, pleas’d with the beauteous prize,
    Nor envy’d Jove his sunshine and his skies. Joseph Addison, Cato.

  2. To Seizeverb

    To fix the grasp or the power on any thing.

    Fairest Cordelia,
    Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon:
    Be’t lawful I take up what’s cast away? William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Where there is a design of supplanting, that necessarily requires another of accusing: even Jezebel projects not to seize on Naboth’s vineyard without a precedent charge. Dec. of Piety.


  1. seize

    To seize is to take hold of something suddenly and forcibly, often without permission or legal right. It can also refer to taking advantage of an opportunity or situation immediately and decisively. In a legal context, to seize can mean to take possession of something by authority or legal right.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Seizeverb

    to fall or rush upon suddenly and lay hold of; to gripe or grasp suddenly; to reach and grasp

  2. Seizeverb

    to take possession of by force

  3. Seizeverb

    to invade suddenly; to take sudden hold of; to come upon suddenly; as, a fever seizes a patient

  4. Seizeverb

    to take possession of by virtue of a warrant or other legal authority; as, the sheriff seized the debtor's goods

  5. Seizeverb

    to fasten; to fix

  6. Seizeverb

    to grap with the mind; to comprehend fully and distinctly; as, to seize an idea

  7. Seizeverb

    to bind or fasten together with a lashing of small stuff, as yarn or marline; as, to seize ropes


  1. Seize

    Seize are a British electronic band.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Seize

    sēz,—v.t. to take possession of forcibly: to take hold of: to grasp: to apprehend by legal authority: to come upon suddenly: to lash or make fast.—v.i. to lay hold of with the claws: in metallurgy, to cohere.—adj. Seiz′able.—ns. Seiz′er; Seiz′ing, the act of taking hold: (naut.) the operation of lashing with several turns of a cord. [O. Fr. saisir (Prov. sazir, to take possession of)—Old High Ger. sazzan, to set, Ger. setzen, Eng. set.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. seize

    To employ combat forces to occupy physically and to control a designated area.

Suggested Resources

  1. Seize

    Seize vs. Cease -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Seize and Cease.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'seize' in Verbs Frequency: #617

How to pronounce seize?

How to say seize in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of seize in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of seize in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of seize in a Sentence

  1. Otto Warmbier:

    Please remember that any money to a terrorist or terrorist regime gives money so that they can seize more of our people, we can not accept that risk. You wouldn't ask that of us.

  2. Jabari Paul:

    We now sit at a critical inflection point in our nation's history, if we are to seize the opening that this moment presents, we must be willing to acknowledge the sins of our past so that we move together toward a future of justice and equity.

  3. Erias Lukwago:

    The court did not seize Read MoreHe passport, despite prayers by the state to do so. This means Wine is free to travel out of the country for any reason. Read MoreHe can also seek medical attention wherever Read MoreHe feels better.

  4. President Barack Obama:

    The moment is now for us to make these changes, we have a great opportunity coming out of some great conflict and tragedy to really transform how we think about community law enforcement relations so that everybody feels safer and our law enforcement officers feel -- rather than being embattled -- feel fully supported. We need to seize that opportunity.

  5. Melekot Abate:

    It's hard to tap into the credit market in Kenya, most individuals have very little credit history or assets to seize so banks are unwilling to take the risk.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for seize

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"seize." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/seize>.

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    a person or thing that takes or can take the place of another
    A substitute
    B value
    C relocation
    D nuisance

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