confiscate

To confiscate means to take away temporarily for security or legal reasons. It implies an act by an authority upon one of less power. If you use your cell phone in class, the teacher might confiscate it for the day.

Confiscate derives from the Latin confiscat, meaning "to store in a chest, or give to the treasury." In school, if the boys begin throwing pencils at each other, the teacher will confiscate them and "store” them in her desk. She’ll return them, however, when the boys need to take the test. That’s assuming they have not blinded each other beforehand.

Definitions of confiscate
  1. verb
    take temporary possession of as a security, by legal authority
    “The police confiscated the stolen artwork”
    synonyms: attach, impound, seize, sequester
    sequester
    requisition forcibly, as of enemy property
    see moresee less
    types:
    condemn
    appropriate (property) for public use
    garnish, garnishee
    take a debtor's wages on legal orders, such as for child support
    distrain
    confiscate by distress
    type of:
    take
    take into one's possession
  2. adjective
    surrendered as a penalty
    synonyms: forfeit, forfeited
    lost
    not gained or won
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