Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To grasp suddenly and forcibly; take or grab: seize a sword.
  • transitive v. To grasp with the mind; apprehend: seize an idea and develop it to the fullest extent.
  • transitive v. To possess oneself of (something): seize an opportunity.
  • transitive v. To have a sudden overwhelming effect on: a heinous crime that seized the minds and emotions of the populace.
  • transitive v. To overwhelm physically: a person who was seized with a terminal disease.
  • transitive v. To take into custody; capture.
  • transitive v. To take quick and forcible possession of; confiscate: seize a cache of illegal drugs.
  • transitive v. To put (one) into possession of something.
  • transitive v. To vest ownership of a feudal property in.
  • transitive v. Nautical To bind (a rope) to another, or to a spar, with turns of small line.
  • intransitive v. To lay sudden or forcible hold of.
  • intransitive v. To cohere or fuse with another part as a result of high pressure or temperature and restrict or prevent further motion or flow.
  • intransitive v. To come to a halt: The talks seized up and were rescheduled.
  • intransitive v. To exhibit symptoms of seizure activity, usually with convulsions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to deliberately take hold of; to grab or capture
  • v. to take advantage of (an opportunity or circumstance)
  • v. to take possession of (by force, law etc.)
  • v. to have a sudden and powerful effect upon
  • v. to bind, lash or make fast, with several turns of small rope, cord, or small line
  • v. to fasten, fix
  • v. to lay hold in seizure, by hands or claws (+ on or upon)
  • v. to have a seizure
  • v. to bind or lock in position immovably; see also seize up

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To fall or rush upon suddenly and lay hold of; to gripe or grasp suddenly; to reach and grasp.
  • transitive v. To take possession of by force.
  • transitive v. To invade suddenly; to take sudden hold of; to come upon suddenly.
  • transitive v. To take possession of by virtue of a warrant or other legal authority.
  • transitive v. To fasten; to fix.
  • transitive v. To grap with the mind; to comprehend fully and distinctly.
  • transitive v. To bind or fasten together with a lashing of small stuff, as yarn or marline.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put in possession; make possessed; possess: commonly with of before the thing possessed: as, A. B. was seized and possessed of the manor; to seize one's self of an inheritance.
  • To take possession of
  • By virtue of a warrant or legal authority: as, to seize smuggled goods; to seize a ship after libeling.
  • By force, with or without right.
  • To lay sudden or forcible hold of; grasp; clutch: either literally or figuratively.
  • To come upon with sudden attack; have a sudden and powerful effect upon: as, a panic seized the crowd; a fever seized him.
  • To fasten; fix.
  • Nautical, to bind, lash, or make fast, as one thing to another, with several turns of small rope, cord, or small line; stop: as, to seize two fish-hooks back to back; to seize or stop one rope on to another.
  • Synonyms and To snatch, catch, capture, apprehend, arrest, take, attach.
  • To lay hold in seizure, as by hands or claws: with on or upon.
  • In metallurgy, to cohere.

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

  • v. take hold of; grab
  • v. take or capture by force
  • v. affect
  • v. capture the attention or imagination of
  • v. seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession
  • v. take possession of by force, as after an invasion
  • v. hook by a pull on the line
  • v. take temporary possession of as a security, by legal authority

Etymologies

Middle English seisen, from Old French seisir, to take possession, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Earlier seise, from Middle English seisen, sesen, saisen, from Old French seisir 'take possession of; invest (person, court) (compare French saisir 'to seize; invest a court'), from Medieval Latin sacīre (8th century) 'to lay claim to, appropriate' in the phrase ad propriam sacire, from Low Frankish *sakian 'to sue, bring legal action', from Proto-Germanic *sakōnan (compare Old English sacian 'to strive, brawl'), from *sakanan (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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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