seize onto

seize on(to) (something)

1. Literally, to grab, grasp, or hold onto something intensely or with a lot of strength. He had a panic attack halfway up the ladder due to his fear of heights and seized on for dear life. The child seized onto her father's arm during the scary parts of the film.
2. By extension, to accept, adopt, or undertake something with great enthusiasm or zeal. The boss decided seized onto my idea of developing a smartphone app to accompany our newest product. You need to seize on opportunities like these before they pass you by.
3. To resort to some tactic or plan, as out of desperation or necessity. Jake seizes onto any reason he can think of to get out of doing his chores. You can't just seize on any old excuse and expect that to fly in this office.
See also: seize

seize onto someone or something

to grab onto someone or something. The beggar seized onto the well-dressed gentleman and demanded money. Tony seized onto the doorknob and gave it a hard jerk.
See also: seize
References in periodicals archive ?
He was almost beaten again after failing to hold a 20th-minute shot from the impressive Huddlestone, and was fortunate that Chris Martin was unable to seize onto the loose ball.
For the first, Tim Cahill did well to seize onto Leon Osman's ball into the area, and returned the favour with a neat square pass allowing the little midfielder to pick his spot and calmly side foot home.
The claim that Brown thought the r ecession would only last six months goes against the Labour-created image of a man who knew what he was dealing within the face of the banking crisis - and the Tories will seize onto that.
As Leeds attacked down the City right, Jermaine Darlington broke up the play, exchanged a quick one-two with Ardley and delivered a ball up the line for Koumas to seize onto with his first touch of the game.