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

In an October 2018 email, Dream Center officials were preparing to request funding from an escrow account managed by the department. New York Times, "Emails Show DeVos Aides Pulled Strings for Failing For-Profit Colleges," 23 July 2019 In February, the Justice Department moved to seize tens of millions more in bank and escrow accounts traced to McFarland. Shashank Bengali,, "The global financial scandal that has spread from Malaysia to Hollywood," 10 July 2019 The California Association of Realtors reports closed escrow sales of existing, single-family homes in California totaled 389,690 units in June, down 4.2 percent from May and down 5.1 percent from home sales in June 2018. Rose Meily, The Mercury News, "California home sales fall in June, price growth softens," 26 July 2019 That could include a home warranty, title or escrow fees, and home and carpet cleaning. Janna Herron, USA TODAY, "No contingencies, no problem: How to land a home in a tough housing market," 8 July 2019 In the aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, liberal activists began crowdfunding an effort to hold money in escrow for the eventual Democratic nominee to challenge Collins. James Pindell,, "Sara Gideon, speaker of the Maine House, to challenge Susan Collins," 24 June 2019 Almost 60 vacant lots in Paradise have sold since the fire, according to the Multiple Listings Service, which lists transactions handled by agents; an additional 68 are in escrow and 193 are currently available on the market. Washington Post, "Driven from Paradise by fire, kept out by gentrification?," 20 June 2019 When escrow closed April 22 of this year, Mirzakhanian filed for a writ of eviction because a man had been found residing at the home. Sara Cardine,, "For-profit party at La Cañada house leads officials to a homeowner battling squatters," 19 June 2019 Leanna Lee was in escrow to buy the wine bar — once one of Idyllwild’s most popular hangouts — when the roads went out. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, "Idyllwild prized its isolation. Now, with the roads into town wrecked, it feels all alone," 21 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to the survey, 25 of 31 union representatives call escrow the biggest bargaining issue. Alyssa Thomas,, "Alyssa Thomas leads Connecticut Sun to 12th straight win at home," 17 June 2019 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

22 Aug 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

Comments on escrow

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a usually brief trip or an expedition

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