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Inherited from Middle French saisir, from Old French saisir, seisir (whence English seize), from Early Medieval Latin sacīre (lay claim to, take seisin), from Frankish *sakjan (to sue, litigate; accuse).[1][2] Compare Old English sacian (to strive, brawl), Faroese saka (to hurt; accuse), obsolete English sake (strife).

Alternatively Old French saisir, seisir may be borrowed from Old High German *sazjan[3] and thus cognate to German setzen (to set) and Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐍄𐌾𐌰𐌽 (satjan).


  • IPA(key): /sɛ.ziʁ/, /se.ziʁ/
  • (file)



  1. to take hold of; to grab
  2. to seize, to take (an illegal product), to capture
  3. to grasp mentally; understand
  4. (computing) to capture (screen or data)
  5. (computing) to type (something) into a computer; to input
  6. (accounting) to record (something) in an account, ledger, etc.
  7. (law) to vest a court with a case; to refer a matter to a court


This is a regular verb of the second conjugation, like finir, choisir, and most other verbs with infinitives ending in -ir. One salient feature of this conjugation is the repeated appearance of the infix -iss-.

Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ C. T. Onions, ed., Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, s.v. “seize” (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 807.
  2. ^ Robert K. Barnhart & Sol Steinmetz, eds., Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology, s.v. “seize” (Bronx, NY: H. W. Wilson, 1988), 980.
  3. ^ Etymology and history of “saisir”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.

Further reading[edit]