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verb [transitive] seize pronunciation in British English /siːz/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleseizing
past tenseseized
past participleseized
  1. 1
    to suddenly and firmly hold someone by a part of their body or clothing

    'Listen,' he said, seizing my wrist.

    seize someone by something:

    Before he could run away, she seized him by the collar.

    1. a.
      to quickly take something in your hand

      Hearing a noise, he seized his gun from the drawer.

  2. 2
    to take something using official power and force

    Customs officials have seized 100 kilos of cocaine.

    Action was taken to seize criminal assets valued at $200 million.

    1. a.
      to take control of a place or situation using military force

      Eastern towns were seized by the rebels two years ago.

      The nation's generals seized power in a coup.

    2. b.
      to take something or someone away in an illegal and violent way

      Robbers tied up security guards and seized the money.

  3. 3
    to gain control in a situation
    seize control:

    Their opponents had seized control of the army.

    seize the initiative (=make certain that you are able to control a situation):

    You must seize the initiative in discussions about salary.

  4. 4
    mainly literary if a feeling or emotion seizes someone, it suddenly affects them very strongly

    A wave of panic seized me.

    She was seized by agonizing cramps.

phrasal verbs


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