Definition for SEIZE

SEIZE, v.t. [Fr. saisir; Arm. seisza or sesya; probably allied to assess, and to sit, set. The sense is to fall on, to throw one's self on, which is nearly the primary sense of set. It must be noticed that this word, in writers on law is usually written seise; as also in composition, disseise, disseisin, redisseise. But except in law, it is usually or always written seize. It is desirable that the orthography should be uniform.]

  1. To fall or rush upon suddenly and lay hold on; or gripe or grasp suddenly. The tiger rushes from the thicket and seizes his prey. A dog seizes an animal by the throat. The hawk seizes a chicken with his claws. The office seizes a thief.
  2. To take possession by force, with or without right. At last they seize / The scepter, and regard not David's son. – Milton.
  3. To invade suddenly; to take hold of; to come upon suddenly; as, a fever seizes a patient. And hope and doubt alternate seize her soul. – Pope.
  4. To take possession by virtue of a warrant or legal authority. The sherif seized the debtor's goods; the whole estate was seized and confiscated. We say, to arrest a person; to seize goods.
  5. To fasten; to fix. In seamen's language, to fasten two ropes or different parts of one rope together with a cord. – Mar. Dict. To be seized of, to have possession; as, a griffin seized of his prey. A. B. was seized and possessed of the manor of Dale. – Spenser. To seize on or upon, is to fall on and grasp, to take hold on; to take possession. Matth. xxi.

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