fore·​close | \ (ˌ)fȯr-ˈklōz How to pronounce foreclose (audio) \
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 Of course, states like New Jersey are not completely foreclosing reopening measures until a vaccine is made available. Fox News, "Hunker down: Some states say no full-scale reopening until coronavirus vaccine, treatment is ready," 19 May 2020 That should foreclose the possibility of Bloomberg buying the nomination, giving him a strong incentive to stand down, and leave it to Sanders and Biden to contest the remaining states through Milwaukee. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "What if Super Tuesday clarifies nothing?," 27 Feb. 2020 The sheer profusion of actors online has foreclosed their need to be real at all: the armies of bots and the Russian sockpuppets, the corporate tweeps and the AI deepfakes. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "It Doesn’t Matter If Anyone Exists or Not," 24 Feb. 2020 The bank foreclosed on the Deerings' two-story home Nov. 6, 2018, county records show. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Bank of America sued for wrongful foreclosure after flooding," 22 Sep. 2019 China also had agreed to toughen protections for intellectual property, open its financial services market to foreign companies and to foreclose depressing the value of its currency to gain a trade advantage, administration officials said. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, "In latest China pivot, Trump says partial trade deal might not be completed this year," 8 Nov. 2019 The family bought a city-owned, foreclosed building for $30,000., "A Milwaukee family put all their dreams and $160K into opening a gaming lounge. Just weeks later, coronavirus made it a nightmare.," 18 Apr. 2020 Lessons learned in Fresno The 2007-08 housing market crash contributed to a rise in California’s homeless population as banks foreclosed on homeowners and large encampments sprouted in cities across the state. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Housing crisis or health crisis? On the streets of California it’s both.," 2 Apr. 2020 But Brown points out that white Americans owned a disproportionate number of the homes foreclosed on by banks and a greater share of the retirement investments that were decimated when the stock market crashed nearly 12 years ago. Chauncey Alcorn Cnn Business, CNN, "Why the coronavirus crisis will expand America's racial wealth gap," 2 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for foreclose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for foreclose

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foreclose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce foreclose (audio)

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 How to pronounce foreclose (audio) \

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

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