Confused Words: Seize vs Cease



A few days ago, I asked a friend to read a story I wrote. I had edited the story over ten times, yet failed to spot a fatal mistake. I have misplaced the word seized with ceased, twice! So today, I’m helping you, and myself, never forget the difference.

Seize [seez] (verb):

1. to take hold by force; grasp.

2. to grasp mentally.

3. to take possession or control by suddenly laying hold.


Panic seized the crowd when the lights in the theater went out.

Cease [sees] (verb):

1. to stop or discontinue; to come to an end.

2. to pass away; die out.


I was about to walk into my house when I ceased . Something was staring at me from my bedroom window.

I noticed that the sentences I write as examples can well serve as writing prompts. So I suggest you pick one, write a story — no longer than 500 words — about it, and send it to me on the email I posted on “Contact me” page. I will pick the ones I like the most, post them and link back to the bloggers. Start writing! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Confused Words: Seize vs Cease”

  1. That is a funny graphic: “I’m confused. No wait…” That’s a story right there. 🙂

  2. The English language can be trying–even downright daunting sometimes–even for those of us whose first or only language is English. Your system of comparing and teaching, Margaret, is the best way to instill them into our minds so that we may learn them for a lifetime.

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