from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To seize (private property) for the public treasury.
  • transitive v. To seize by or as if by authority. See Synonyms at appropriate.
  • adj. Seized by a government; appropriated.
  • adj. Having lost property through confiscation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To use one's authority to lay claim to and separate a possession from its holder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Seized and appropriated by the government to the public use; forfeited.
  • transitive v. To seize as forfeited to the public treasury; to appropriate to the public use.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To adjudge to be forfeited to the public treasury, as the goods or estate of a traitor or other criminal, by way of penalty; appropriate, by way of penalty, to public use.
  • To take away from another by or as if by authority; appropriate summarily, as anything improperly held or obtained by another; seize as forfeited for any reason: as, to confiscate a book; the police confiscated a set of gambling implements.
  • Forfeited and adjudged to the public treasury, as the goods of a criminal.
  • Appropriated under legal authority as forfeited.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take temporary possession of as a security, by legal authority
  • adj. surrendered as a penalty


Latin cōnfiscāre, cōnfiscāt : com-, com- + fiscus, treasury.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin confiscare ("to declare property of the fisc"). (Wiktionary)


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