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

The extension of this tax break only impacts taxpayers who foreclosed on their homes last year or possilby in earlier years. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Like zombies, 3 tax breaks return from the dead to further confuse filers," 4 Mar. 2018 But that possibility was foreclosed when Democrats won control of the House in last year’s midterm elections. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "Dems cry foul as Trump calls for striking down ‘Obamacare’," 27 Mar. 2019 However, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa challenged the law on state constitutional grounds only foreclosing a federal appeal. David Pitt, The Seattle Times, "Iowa governor opts not to appeal fetal heartbeat law ruling," 18 Feb. 2019 Farms were being foreclosed at the rate of 25,000 a month. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "‘Winter War’ Review: Hard Times for Hoover and FDR," 21 Dec. 2018 In Arizona, one polling place in Chandler turned away voters because the polling place was foreclosed upon the previous day. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Voters Across the Country Are Running Into Issues at the Polls," 6 Nov. 2018 Swipe through the gallery above to see what other properties have been foreclosed on recently around Houston. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Foreclosed homes around Houston you need to check out," 2 May 2018 Giuliani’s comments don’t foreclose that possibility. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Trump’s lawyer isn’t exactly denying that Trump had foreknowledge of WikiLeaks dumps," 17 Dec. 2018 Genesis moved to foreclose on the Brooklyn house in September 2016 after both sets of loans went into default. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, "‘He is so in debt’: Paul Manafort fights use of financial records at trial," 29 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

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for foreclose

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on foreclose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foreclose

Spanish Central: Translation of foreclose

Nglish: Translation of foreclose for Spanish Speakers

Comments on foreclose

What made you want to look up foreclose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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