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


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.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.