W3 [si:z] v [T]
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: saisir 'to take possession of', from Medieval Latin sacire]
1.) to take hold of something suddenly and violently
= ↑grab
Suddenly he seized my hand.
seize sth from sb
Maggie seized the letter from her.
2.) to take control of a place suddenly and quickly, using military force
seize power/control (of sth)
The rebels have seized power.
A group of soldiers seized the airport.
3.) if the police or government officers seize something, for example illegal drugs, they take legal possession of it
160,000 CDs were seized from illegal factories.
All of my assets were seized , including my home.
4.) to suddenly catch someone and make sure they cannot get away
The gunmen were seized at 1 a.m.
5.) seize a chance/an opportunity/the initiative
to quickly and eagerly do something when you have the chance to
6.) be seized with/by terror/desire etc
to suddenly be affected by an extremely strong feeling
When she saw his face, she was seized by fear.
seize on/upon [seize on/upon sth] phr v
to suddenly become very interested in an idea, excuse, what someone says etc
His every remark is seized upon by the press.
seize up phr v
a) if an engine or part of a machine seizes up, its moving parts stop working and can no longer move, for example because of lack of oil
The mechanism had seized up.
b) if a part of your body, such as your back, seizes up, you suddenly cannot move it and it is very painful

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • seize — [siːz] verb [transitive] 1. LAW if the police or another official authority seize goods or property, they take them because they are illegal or because the owner has not paid a debt: • South Korean authorities seized 186,000 fake products in 1999 …   Financial and business terms

  • seize — [ siz ] verb transitive ** 1. ) to take something using official power and force: CONFISCATE: Customs officials have seized 100 pounds of cocaine. Action was taken to seize criminal assets valued at $200 million. a ) to take control of a place or …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Seize — Seize, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Seized}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Seizing}.] [OE. seisen, saisen, OF. seisir, saisir, F. saisir, of Teutonic origin, and akin to E. set. The meaning is properly, to set, put, place, hence, to put in possession of. See {Set}, v …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • seize — SEIZE. adj. numeral de tout genre. Nombre contenant dix & six. Les seize quartiers de la ville de Paris. nous estions seize à table. il n a pas encore seize ans. On dit aussi, En termes de Blason, Les seize quartiers. Voy QUARTIER. Il se met… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • seize — vt seized, seiz·ing 1 or seise: to put in possession of property or vest with the right of possession or succession stand seized of land 2: to take possession or custody of (property) esp. by lawful authority seize drugs as evidence …   Law dictionary

  • seize — [sēz] vt. seized, seizing [ME saisen < OFr saisir < ML sacire, prob. < Frank * sakjan, to lay claim to one s rights < IE base * sāg > SAKE1] 1. a) Historical to put in legal possession of a feudal holding b) to put in legal… …   English World dictionary

  • seize up — To jam, seize, become immovable or stuck • • • Main Entry: ↑seize …   Useful english dictionary

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