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[v. kon-fuh-skeyt; adj. kuh n-fis-kit] /v. ˈkɒn fəˌskeɪt; adj. kənˈfɪs kɪt/
verb (used with object), confiscated, confiscating.
to seize as forfeited to the public domain; appropriate, by way of penalty, for public use.
to seize by or as if by authority; appropriate summarily:
The border guards confiscated our movie cameras.
seized or appropriated, as for public use.
1525-35; < Latin confiscātus (past participle of confiscāre to seize for the public treasury), equivalent to con- con- + fisc(us) basket, moneybag, public treasury (see fiscal) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
confiscatable, adjective
confiscation, noun
confiscator, noun
nonconfiscation, noun
proconfiscation, adjective
reconfiscate, verb (used with object), reconfiscated, reconfiscating.
unconfiscated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for confiscated
  • His estate was confiscated, and to-morrow he is to be executed.
  • When their goods were confiscated to him, he secretly restored them to their wives and children.
  • If the stamp is of an inferior price to what the testator ought to have made use of, his succession is confiscated.
  • Yes, it is possible to have an empty water bottle confiscated at an airport.
  • Specimens are rarely found and all bodies have been confiscated.
  • In a sting operation he confiscated video-poker machines from allegedly mob-connected taverns and put them in a secured room.
  • School officials confiscated the banner and suspended him.
  • Hand sanitizer makes it through security in one airport, then it's confiscated at another.
  • Reptile-filled suitcases confiscated at airport departure gate.
  • They then raided a patron's house, confiscated two of the artist's works and threatened the collector with four months in prison.
British Dictionary definitions for confiscated


verb (transitive)
to seize (property), esp for public use and esp by way of a penalty
seized or confiscated; forfeit
having lost or been deprived of property through confiscation
Derived Forms
confiscation, noun
confiscator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin confiscāre to seize for the public treasury, from fiscus basket, treasury
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for confiscated



1550s, originally, "to appropriate for the treasury," from Latin confiscatus, past participle of confiscare, from com- "together" (see com-) + fiscus "public treasury," literally "money basket" (see fiscal). Related: Confiscated; confiscating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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