Definition of "seize" []

  • To grasp suddenly and forcibly; take or grab: seize a sword. (verb-transitive)
  • To grasp with the mind; apprehend: seize an idea and develop it to the fullest extent. (verb-transitive)
  • To possess oneself of (something): seize an opportunity. (verb-transitive)
  • To have a sudden overwhelming effect on: a heinous crime that seized the minds and emotions of the populace. (verb-transitive)
  • To overwhelm physically: a person who was seized with a terminal disease. (verb-transitive)
  • To take hold of quickly; grab (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To grasp mentally, esp rapidly (verb)
  • To take mental possession of (verb)
  • To take possession of rapidly and forcibly (verb)
  • To take legal possession of; take into custody (verb)
  • To take by force or capture (verb)
  • To take immediate advantage of (verb)
  • To bind (two ropes together or a piece of gear to a rope) (verb)
  • (of mechanical parts) to become jammed, esp because of excessive heat (verb)
  • To be apprised of; conversant with (verb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "seize" in a sentence
  • "If insurgents like the Taliban again seize power, do you think the women in any of those countries will fare better or worse?"
  • "We had no idea that this arcane "mother of all crimes" - ignored since World War II - would ever again seize public attention as it has recently, because of the conduct of John"
  • "Prudence, her eyes on him, felt alarmed when she saw what must have been a twinge of pain seize his body and pass over his face."