‘Cease’ and ‘seize’

I spotted this for the first time only recently.

There seems to be particular confusion over phrases such as ‘never ceases to amaze me’ or ‘seize the moment’. ‘Cease the moment’ is wrong, and here is why:


  • To bring or come to an end


  • To take hold of forcibly, suddenly or quickly; to grab
  • To take by force or capture
  • To take possession (of something) by warrant or legal right
  • To take immediate advantage of (usually an opportunity)
  • To take (an opportunity) in an eager and decisive manner
  • To affect or fill the mind (of someone) suddenly
  • To understand (something) clearly or quickly
  • To become jammed, usually through overheating (mechanical parts). Often used as seize(d) up
  • To stop being able to work or move normally (usage is often as seize up)

8 thoughts on “‘Cease’ and ‘seize’

    • I have yet to spot that one myself, thanks! I think it is sort of understandable (in some contexts) because leach means to remove something from a substance (by liquid passing through it) or to lose soluble substances (by liquid passing through). Something is being removed or lost. I can see why they might get mixed up.


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