Difference Between Cease and Seize

Difference Between Cease and Seize

Many people make the mistake of using these two verbs cease and seize interchangeably since they are pronounced similarly. But, these two words have different spellings and meanings. The main difference between cease and seize is their meaning; cease means to stop or discontinue whereas seize means to take hold of something or grasp. As seen from these meanings, cease and seize cannot be used interchangeably at all.Difference Between Cease and Seize - infographic

Cease – Definition, Meaning and Usage

Cease is a verb that is similar to stop. Oxford dictionary defines this verb as “come or bring to an end” and Merriam-Webster defines it as “to cause to come to an end especially gradually:  no longer continue”. Look at the following examples to understand the meaning and usage of this verb more clearly.

Cease this noise at once.

The army was asked to cease all the military activity in the area.

Her kindness and compassion never cease to amaze me.

The dog would not cease its incessant barking.

The hostilities between the army and the villagers ceased, and normal life was resumed.

A cease-fire was introduced in 2007, but the hostilities resumed after a short while.

Main Difference - Cease vs Seize

Seize – Definition, Meaning and Usage        

Seize generally means to take hold of something. But, it can have several definitions depending on the context.

Take hold of suddenly and forcibly

He jumped up and seized my hand.

I seized the doorknob.

To use legal or official power to take something

Their house was seized by the bank.

All the company assets were seized during the hostile takeover.

 To attack and take control of by force or violence

The castle was seized by the invaders.

The rebels seized the control of the city.

Strongly appeal to or attract

This fairy tale seized the attention of children.

His speech seized public attention.

Take (an opportunity) eagerly and decisively

I seized the chance to present my opinions to the committee.

He seized their momentary distraction to attack.Difference Between Cease and Seize

Difference Between Cease and Seize


Cease means to put an end to or stop something.

Seize means to get hold of something violently or forcibly.


Cease does not have negative connotations.

Seize implies violence or threat.

Image Courtesy:

“Cease Fire Industries” By Sunilbarsaiyan – Own work,  via  

“15jh castle siege” By Unknown – Charles Oman (1926) Castles, The Great Western Railway, pp. frontispiece, (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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