Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To grasp suddenly and forcibly; take or grab.
  • intransitive verb To take by force; capture or conquer.
  • intransitive verb To take quick and forcible possession of; confiscate.
  • intransitive verb To focus the attention or intellect on.
  • intransitive verb To make use of (an opportunity, for example).
  • intransitive verb To have a sudden overwhelming effect on.
  • intransitive verb To overwhelm physically.
  • intransitive verb Law To cause (someone) to be in possession of something.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To bind (a rope) to another, or to a spar, with turns of small line.
  • intransitive verb To lay sudden or forcible hold of something.
  • intransitive verb To cohere or fuse with another part as a result of high pressure or temperature and restrict or prevent further motion or flow.
  • intransitive verb To come to a halt.
  • intransitive verb To exhibit signs of seizure activity, often with convulsions.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • verb take hold of; grab
  • verb take or capture by force

Etymologies

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

[Middle English seisen, from Old French seisir, to take possession, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

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