seize upon (something)

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seize upon (something)

1. Literally, to grab 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 upon the rungs for dear life. The child seized upon 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 upon my idea of developing a smartphone app to accompany our newest product. You need to seize upon opportunities like these before they pass you by.
3. To resort to some tactic or plan, as out of desperation or necessity. Jake seizes upon any reason he can think of to get out of doing his chores. You can't just seize upon any old excuse and expect that to fly in this office.
See also: seize, upon
References in periodicals archive ?
Not so in our "modem" society, in which the news media can parlay a nonevent into a national catastrophe, particularly when aided by those members of the legal profession who seize upon such events as fair game for a new rash of lawsuits.
No one in their right mind would condone the comments of these two individuals and it is wrong for John W Gray of Washington to seize upon this incident to repeat his oft mentioned quote that 'all Tories are lower than vermin'.
'If we don't seize upon them now, investors could choose to move elsewhere and it's important for Cardiff to take advantage of the new development proposals.'
Welfarists will seize upon these new findings as an important weapon in their campaign against what they see as the cruelty of fishing.
In yielding to federal demands to conform with national guidelines and standards, the real danger behind the MEHPA drive is precisely that the states are ceding power and precedent for further federal encroachment to hysteria-mongers in Washington, who view state autonomy with narrow suspicion and seize upon any national emergency, real or feigned, to attack state sovereignty.
Nevertheless, Religious Right groups were quick to seize upon Hutson's paper.
But if you happen to catch Dorfman in his rightful milieu, on a stage, you'll immediately seize upon the surprising truth of the matter.
On the other hand, when the opportunity presented itself, as in the Mahdiyya movement in the Sudan and the Pan-Islam movement half a century later, Muslims did not seize upon these opportunities to consolidate their response and to block Western intrusion.
Housebuilders and developers will continue to seize upon the opportunities.