Definition of seize on/upon in US English:

seize on/upon

phrasal verb

  • Take eager advantage of (something); exploit for one's own purposes.

    ‘the government has eagerly seized on the evidence to deny any link between deprivation and crime’
    • ‘The U.S. will eagerly seize on any gesture of cooperation from the Germans.’
    • ‘Henry Jekyll's own final testament adds one small detail, which has been eagerly seized on by film-makers.’
    • ‘Subtle advantages such as those are seized upon when resources are so conspicuously lacking.’
    • ‘So who exactly was it who ‘jumped the gun’ and showed credulity in seizing upon a fanciful story to promote their position?’
    • ‘Yet at the same time any signs of progress are seized upon as evidence of a potential positive outcome.’
    • ‘Biologists were quick to seize upon this as the longed-for evidence of natural selection in action.’
    • ‘Even if the society or organisation is going broke, in fact especially if it is, people will find ways of not discussing it, while seizing on minor details.’
    • ‘In Washington, that would undoubtedly have been seized on as evidence of a calculated personality cult.’
    • ‘Their views have been eagerly seized upon by lovers of conspiracy theories.’
    • ‘As a number of Irish brokerage firms gear up to roll out internet trading, some investors will no doubt eagerly seize on the opportunity to have almost instant access to the stock market.’
    • ‘Democrats are seizing upon this as evidence that the party needs to find candidates and campaign language that appeal to religiously motivated voters.’
    • ‘They read voraciously, taking full advantage of educational and creative opportunities and seizing upon the opportunity to perform Shakespeare partly because they consider his words the ultimate challenge.’
    • ‘We should not imitate that by seizing on bad metaphysics as an excuse for ignoring valid scientific observations.’
    • ‘United also seized upon that advantage to exert almost complete dominance of the match and finish the half well on top, and looking like they were going to run out easy winners.’
    grasp, grasp with both hands, grab, grab at, leap at, snatch, jump at, pounce on, exploit
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