[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 baskets used by tax collectors, and hence came to mean ‘public treasury’ (English gets fiscal from it). The looser sense of confiscate, ‘seize by authority’, dates from the early 19th century. => FISCAL

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • confiscate — 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… …   Law dictionary

  • 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

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