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 If the debts are not paid, the buyers eventually could foreclose on the properties. Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 21 Mar. 2022 Attorneys for Yorke and the Nduoms then tried to compel Stewart and other borrowers to pay Yorke more money by threatening to foreclose on their homes. Mariam Elba, ProPublica, 30 Dec. 2021 The biggest critique from Republicans has been that Biden and the Pentagon have been too quick to foreclose military options and too worried that aggressive U.S. efforts to arm the Ukrainians might spur Putin to widen the war. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2022 Does that foreclose the option of a U.S. troop buildup in Eastern Europe? Robert Burns, ajc, 15 Mar. 2022 Niami, a former film producer, spent almost a decade developing The One before lenders moved to foreclose on the project. John Gittelsohn, Fortune, 4 Mar. 2022 Overtaxed homeowners whom the county did not foreclose on. Emma Stein, Detroit Free Press, 23 Jan. 2022 The 2020 deal didn’t foreclose criminal prosecution of Sackler family members. Paul Pelletier, STAT, 20 Dec. 2021 Counties have the authority to foreclose under the state's General Property Tax Act. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Foreclose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for foreclose


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

More from Merriam-Webster on foreclose

Nglish: Translation of foreclose for Spanish Speakers


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