fore·​close | \(ˌ)fȯr-ˈklōz \
foreclosed; foreclosing; forecloses

Definition of foreclose 

transitive verb

1 : to shut out : preclude

2 : to hold exclusively

3 : to deal with or close in advance

4 : to subject to foreclosure proceedings

intransitive verb

: to foreclose a mortgage

Examples of foreclose in a Sentence

They've been unable to make their mortgage payments, and the bank has threatened to foreclose. The bank has threatened to foreclose their mortgage.

Recent Examples on the Web

In one town outside Phoenix, a polling place was foreclosed on the night before Election Day, with ballots and voting equipment locked inside. Anna North, Vox, "Why long lines at polling places are a voting rights issue," 6 Nov. 2018 Sears would later even sell mortgages, until the Great Depression forced the retailer to foreclose on millions of dollars of customer homes, never a good look for building brand loyalty. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How Sears Kit Homes changed housing," 16 Oct. 2018 Besides, Halbrooks said, the financing deals ban Rashaed or his entities from regaining title to the property by foreclosing on the mortgage. Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "City objects to notorious landlord Rashaed's bid to sell and finance home sales to tenants," 14 May 2018 Wayne County foreclosed on the McLouth site last year and sought bids for its redevelopment. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Morouns reach deal with EPA to clean up ex-McLouth Steel site in Trenton," 31 May 2018 Eventually, Bushrod foreclosed on Booy and regained possession of the house. Bob Goldsborough,, "Former Chicago Bears guard Jermon Bushrod sold Vernon Hills home for $635,000," 11 Apr. 2018 Jeanette Kowalik, an associate director of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs in Washington, D.C., has filed for bankruptcy twice and had a Milwaukee home foreclosed on by a lender and then sold. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bice: Finalist for city health commissioner has history of personal financial troubles," 13 June 2018 When his grandmother died late last year, her home was foreclosed upon, leaving him without a place to stay. Lindsay Gellman, The Atlantic, "Code Now. Pay Tuition Later.," 30 June 2018 Redevelopment Executive Director Joseph Van Dyk said the house had been foreclosed upon by a bank, which then turned the property over to the city. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary strikes out on selling properties," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foreclose.' 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 foreclose

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for foreclose

Middle English, from Anglo-French forclos, past participle of forclore, forsclore, from fors outside (from Latin foris) + clore to close — more at forum

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Statistics for foreclose

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foreclose

The first known use of foreclose was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for foreclose



English Language Learners Definition of foreclose

: to take back property because the money owed for the property has not been paid


fore·​close | \fōr-ˈklōz \

Legal Definition of foreclose 

transitive verb

: to subject to foreclosure proceedings

intransitive verb

: to foreclose a mortgage or other security interest — compare repossess, seize sense 2

History and Etymology for foreclose

Anglo-French forclos, past participle of foreclore to preclude, prevent, from fors outside + clore to close

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foreclose

Spanish Central: Translation of foreclose

Nglish: Translation of foreclose for Spanish Speakers

Comments on foreclose

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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