from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To seize (private property) for the public treasury.
  • transitive v. To seize by or as if by authority. See Synonyms at appropriate.
  • adj. Seized by a government; appropriated.
  • adj. Having lost property through confiscation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To use one's authority to lay claim to and separate a possession from its holder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Seized and appropriated by the government to the public use; forfeited.
  • transitive v. To seize as forfeited to the public treasury; to appropriate to the public use.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To adjudge to be forfeited to the public treasury, as the goods or estate of a traitor or other criminal, by way of penalty; appropriate, by way of penalty, to public use.
  • To take away from another by or as if by authority; appropriate summarily, as anything improperly held or obtained by another; seize as forfeited for any reason: as, to confiscate a book; the police confiscated a set of gambling implements.
  • Forfeited and adjudged to the public treasury, as the goods of a criminal.
  • Appropriated under legal authority as forfeited.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take temporary possession of as a security, by legal authority
  • adj. surrendered as a penalty


Latin cōnfiscāre, cōnfiscāt : com-, com- + fiscus, treasury.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin confiscare ("to declare property of the fisc"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.