Advertisement - Continue reading below

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)

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.

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."