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

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 The woman listed as the board secretary did not respond to requests for comment, but property records show the Calumet Park address listed in the filing as her residence was foreclosed on in 2011 and sold at public sale in 2013. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "For years, there's been no financial oversight at the Calumet Park library. Now the state is getting involved.," 13 July 2018 These men — Gerard Sweeney, Michael Reich, and Frank Bolz — have a law firm that has earned millions in Surrogate’s Court, where the estates of people who die without wills are processed, and from representing banks foreclosing on people’s homes. Danielle Tcholakian, Longreads, "An Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reading List," 10 July 2018 The personal bankruptcy case of Marvin Bagley Jr. and his wife officially closed in 2011, when their Phoenix house was foreclosed and sold for $85,000. Mark Zeigler,, "Puma jumping into basketball is good for players, but it is good for the game?," 5 July 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

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

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Statistics for foreclose

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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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 \

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

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