Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Russia sought to extend her conquests south and to seize upon Turkey.

If I succeed in this I shall doubtless be able to seize more of His bounty.

For his love's sake, he must seize on this opportunity given of fate to him for mastery.

But as she crossed as if to seize the boy, Napoleon sprang toward his uncle for refuge.

But he would dash out after her, seize her round the body, drag her back into the shop.

The opportunity tempted some of our men to plan a rising, with a view to seize the ship.

Our intention, it must be confessed, however, was to seize the Regulus in the confusion.

Had we got out, the plan was to seize the heights of the island, and get possession of the guns.

Our plan was to seize a boat, as we passed down channel, and get ashore in England.

She had an eye to discern, and a courage to seize, an important crisis.


mid-13c., from Old French seisir "to take possession of, take by force; put in possession of, bestow upon" (Modern French saisir), from Late Latin sacire, which is generally held to be from a Germanic source, but the exact origin is uncertain. Perhaps from Frankish *sakjan "lay claim to" (cf. Gothic sokjan, Old English secan "to seek;" see seek). Or perhaps from Proto-Germanic *satjan "to place" (see set (v.)).

Originally a legal term in reference to feudal property holdings or offices. Meaning "to grip with the hands or teeth" is from c.1300; that of "to take possession by force or capture" (of a city, etc.) is from mid-14c. Figurative use, with reference to death, disease, fear, etc. is from late 14c. Meaning "to grasp with the mind" is attested from 1855. Of engines or other mechanisms, attested from 1878. Related: Seized; seizing.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.