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

But even if the theory has some validity, following its logic forecloses other options. Ramesh Ponnuru, The Denver Post, "Ponnuru: A Democrat’s brave but dumb idea to save Social Security," 29 July 2019 And an auction winner has three years to collect the tax payment, plus interest, from the taxpayer before being allowed to foreclose and take ownership of the home. Rebekah L. Sanders, azcentral, "County officials still hammering out details of plan to save veteran's mobile home," 12 July 2019 My mother was a teenager in German-occupied World War II Belgium; rations of butter, flour, and sugar foreclosed on any kitchen education. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: The table as the great altar of life," 28 Aug. 2019 The mailer leaves the clear impression that Pena is a drug addict, a thief who was arrested and someone who has been evicted and foreclosed upon. Dallas News, "Did you hear about the former mayor who mailed a dishonest political hit piece? He’s fined $5,000," 12 July 2019 The site was abandoned in 1994, and the town foreclosed on the property in 1998. Peter Marteka,, "Summer projects scheduled in Glastonbury include multiuse trail construction, oil pier removal," 10 June 2019 By joining Barr in deciding that there was insufficient evidence to charge the president on obstruction of justice, Rosenstein helped foreclose any possibility that Trump would face criminal charges once his term of office was over. Murray Waas, The New York Review of Books, "What Rod Rosenstein Knew When He Helped Trump Fire Comey," 23 May 2019 The motel was foreclosed in the 1980s, and opened as a museum in 1991. Pamela Wright,, "You can visit, as long as you promise not to sing ‘Walking in Memphis’," 16 July 2019 Any possibility that this intraparty squabbling would become serious was probably foreclosed by Trump’s attack, which caused Pelosi and others to rush to the Squad’s defense. Eugene Robinson, The Mercury News, "Robinson: GOP silence in response to Trump’s racism is staggering," 16 July 2019

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

15 Sep 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

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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