con·fis·cate /'kän-fə-ˌskāt/ vt -cat·ed, -cat·ing: to seize without compensation as forfeited to the public treasury compare criminal forfeiture
◇ Illegal items such as narcotics or firearms, or profits from the sale of illegal items, may be confiscated by law enforcement officers. Additionally, government action that reduces the value of property to a person or entity as to make it nearly worthless has been held to constitute confiscation. Examples of such government action include the passage of zoning laws that prevent the use of land for its designated purpose and the setting of utility rates so low that the utility company cannot realize a reasonable return on its investment.
con·fis·ca·tion /ˌkän-fə-'skā-shən/ n
con·fis·ca·tor /'kän-fə-ˌskā-tər/ n
con·fis·ca·to·ry /kən-'fis-kə-ˌtōr-ē/ adj

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I verb adeem, annex, appropriate, appropriate to public use, assume, attach, cause to be forfeited, compulsorily acquire, condemn, condemn to public use, deprive, deprive of, disentitle, disinherit, dispossess, disseise, distrain, divest, expropriate, foreclose, forfeit, impound, impress, levy, publicare, seize, seize and appropriate, seize as forfeited to the public treasury, seize by authority, sequester, sequestrate, take away from, take over, take possession of, take summarily wrench away from, wrest away from, wring away from associated concepts: condemn, eminent domain, exercise the right of II index annex (arrogate), assume (seize), attach (seize), condemn (seize), deprive, distrain, divest, garnish, impound, levy, penalize, remove (eliminate), sequester (seize property)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

To take someone’s private property for public use; during wartime, to take an enemy’s property; for the government to appropriate private property without compensation.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

To take private property for public use without reasonable compensation, such as when the government confiscates an automobile used to transport contraband.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

To expropriate private property for public use without compensating the owner under the authority of the police power of the government. To seize property.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

To expropriate private property for public use without compensating the owner under the authority of the police power of the government. To seize property.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   to take one's goods or property without legal right, although there may appear to be some lawful basis. In the case of a government seizing property, it may include taking without the just compensation as guaranteed by the Constitution. There are some acts of legal confiscation, such as taking an automobile used in illegal drug traffic.
   See also: condemnation, theft

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • confiscate — con‧fis‧cate [ˈkɒnfskeɪt ǁ ˈkɑːn ] verb [transitive] LAW to officially take private property away from someone, for example because a crime has been committed: • The state can confiscate criminals profits from books or movies describing their… …   Financial and business terms

  • Confiscate — Con fis*cate (? or ?), a. [L. confiscatus, p. p. of confiscare to confiscate, prop., to lay up in a chest; con + fiscus basket, purse, treasury. See {Fiscal}.] Seized and appropriated by the government to the public use; forfeited. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Confiscate — Con fis*cate (? or ?; 277), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Confiscated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Confiscating}.] To seize as forfeited to the public treasury; to appropriate to the public use. [1913 Webster] It was judged that he should be banished and his whole… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • confiscate — 1550s, originally, to appropriate for the treasury, from L. confiscatus, pp. of confiscare, from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + fiscus public treasury, lit. money basket. Related: Confiscated; confiscating …   Etymology dictionary

  • confiscate — appropriate, *arrogate, usurp, preempt Analogous words: seize, *take, grab: condemn, proscribe (see SENTENCE vb) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • confiscate — [v] steal; seize accroach, annex, appropriate, arrogate, assume, commandeer, confisticate, expropriate, glom on to*, grab, hijack, impound, liberate, moonlight requisition*, possess oneself of, preempt, sequester, sequestrate, swipe, take, take… …   New thesaurus

  • confiscate — ► VERB 1) take or seize (property) with authority. 2) appropriate to the public treasury as a penalty. DERIVATIVES confiscation noun confiscatory adjective. ORIGIN Latin confiscare put away in a chest, consign to the public treasury , from fiscus …   English terms dictionary

  • confiscate — [kän′fis kāt΄] vt. confiscated, confiscating [< L confiscatus, pp. of confiscare, to lay up in a chest < com , together + fiscus, money basket, public treasury: see FISCAL] 1. to seize (private property) for the public treasury, usually as… …   English World dictionary

  • confiscate — v. (D; tr.) to confiscate from * * * [ kɒnfɪskeɪt] (D; tr.) to confiscate from …   Combinatory dictionary

  • confiscate — [16] Confiscate’s etymological connotations are financial: the Latin verb confīscāre meant ‘appropriate to the public treasury’. It was formed from the collective prefix com and fiscus. This meant originally ‘rush basket’; it was applied to the… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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