Etymology: Middle English saisen, from Anglo-French seisir, from Medieval Latin sacire, of Germanic origin; perhaps akin to Old High German sezzen to set — more at set
Date: 14th century
a. (usually seise) to vest ownership of a freehold estate in
b. (often seise) to put in possession of something <the biographer will be seized of all pertinent papers> 2. a. to take possession of ; confiscate b. to take possession of by legal process 3. a. to possess or take by force ; capture b. to take prisoner ; arrest 4. a. to take hold of ; clutch b. to possess oneself of ; grasp c. to understand fully and distinctly ; apprehend 5. a. to attack or overwhelm physically ; afflict <suddenly seized with an acute illness — H. G. Armstrong> b. to possess (as one's mind) completely or overwhelmingly <seized the popular imagination — Basil Davenport> 6. to bind or fasten together with a lashing of small stuff (as yarn, marline, or fine wire) intransitive verb 1. to take or lay hold suddenly or forcibly 2. a. to cohere to a relatively moving part through excessive pressure, temperature, or friction — used especially of machine parts (as bearings, brakes, or pistons) b. to fail to operate due to the seizing of a part — used of an engine Synonyms: see take • seizer noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.