es·​crow | \ ˈe-ˌskrō How to pronounce escrow (audio) , e-ˈskrō\

Definition of escrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a deed, a bond, money, or a piece of property held in trust by a third party to be turned over to the grantee only upon fulfillment of a condition
2 : a fund or deposit designed to serve as an escrow
in escrow
: in trust as an escrow had $1000 in escrow to pay taxes


es·​crow | \ e-ˈskrō How to pronounce escrow (audio) , ˈe-ˌskrō How to pronounce escrow (audio) \
escrowed; escrowing; escrows

Definition of escrow (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place in escrow

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Did You Know?

the form of a deed, money or property, escrow is that is held by a third party and handed over to the grantee only upon the fulfillment of some condition. In commercial usage, this condition is most often the performance of some act by the party who is to receive the instrument. Escrow is also used in family transactions (as when the death of one family member results in an instrument being delivered to another family member).

Examples of escrow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Often when a house is in escrow, the agent adds a smaller sign at the top of the post that says Pending Sale, but not every time. Anet Tarpoff, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Think you are not quite ready to buy? Prepare yourself anyway," 3 July 2019 Among those hoping to find a match made in escrow are an NBA superstar, an R&B singer-songwriter and a tennis great. Neal J. Leitereg And Lauren Beale,, "Hot Property Newsletter: Summertime, and the livin’ is easy," 29 June 2019 Those laws allow renters to fix problems and deduct the cost from their rent, or pay rent into an escrow account with the court, which could withhold it until the repairs are completed. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "3 'common sense' ways Indiana could protect renters from bad landlords — but doesn't," 26 June 2019 State lawmakers had objected to the initial payment structure, arguing that the money should go straight to the state treasury instead of an escrow account. Wayne Drash, CNN, "Oklahoma judge approves $85 million settlement with opioid drugmaker Teva," 24 June 2019 The new terminal relies partly on funding from Regional Measure 3 bridge tolls, which remain in escrow amid two lawsuits challenging the measure. Rachel Swan,, "Ferry service to Chase Center for Warriors games gains momentum with proposal," 19 June 2019 On conventional mortgages, these costs often are paid directly by the lender using money that accumulates in an escrow account. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Reverse mortgages can cause problems when spouses, heirs aren't on board," 12 June 2019 For your protection, all payments are protected in an escrow account. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 Geils Home Wisconsin, a Milwaukee limited liability company, filed a suit on March 8 in Waukesha County Circuit Court against a Merit Title of Brookfield, which provides title and escrow services for residential and commercial property transactions. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brookfield title company sued over claims it didn't protect firm from scammer," 12 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When property is transferred from seller to buyer, the title company (or escrow company, as it is called out west) goes to the local recorder of deeds. Benny L. Kass,, "Paid off your house? You don't need a deed," 20 July 2017 Burns will escrow the $1,000 donation from Bakken until Madison employment officials issue a decision in the Nordic case, according to Amanda Brink, a Burns spokeswoman. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bice: State Democrats rake in cash from businessman caught up in sexual harassment case," 20 Feb. 2018 Happily, the money got to escrow just before the sellers’ patience had worn thin. Leslie Sargent Eskildsen, Orange County Register, "Happy endings that don’t happen every day," 1 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'escrow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of escrow


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for escrow


Anglo-French escroue scroll — more at scroll

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Statistics for escrow

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for escrow

The first known use of escrow was in 1594

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More Definitions for escrow



Financial Definition of escrow

What It Is

Escrow is a financial arrangement whereby a third party holds funds in safekeeping pending the completion of a contract or other obligation.

How It Works

For example, let's assume a situation where someone is purchasing a home. Instead of immediately giving the seller the purchase amount, the buyer may deposit the money into an escrow account and attach certain stipulations to the purchase agreement. These stipulations might include performing necessary repairs to the property, catching up on property taxes, or passing an inspection.

In turn, the escrow agent will not give the seller the money until they meet those requirements, and to protect the seller, the agent will not return the money to the buyer until the seller has failed to meet their obligations.

Why It Matters

Escrow protects both the buyer and the seller in a transaction by ensuring that both parties perform according to the provisions of the deal. Escrow fees are common costs associated with buying and selling houses and other real estate.

Source: Investing Answers


es·​crow | \ ˈes-ˌkrō How to pronounce escrow (audio) \

Legal Definition of escrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an instrument and especially a deed or money or property held by a third party to be turned over to the grantee and become effective only upon the fulfillment of some condition
2 : a fund or deposit designed to serve as an escrow
in escrow
: held as an escrow : in trust as an escrow had $1000 in escrow to pay taxes — compare trust

Legal Definition of escrow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause to be held as an escrow : place in escrow

History and Etymology for escrow


Anglo-French escroue deed delivered on condition, literally, scroll, strip of parchment, from Old French escroe

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More from Merriam-Webster on escrow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with escrow

Spanish Central: Translation of escrow

Nglish: Translation of escrow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of escrow for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about escrow

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