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 That could partly offset the banks’ incentive to foreclose or push for options that result in displacing homeowners, Golant said. Rafael Olmeda,, 11 July 2021 Consequently, lenders have been in no rush to foreclose or sell loans. Konrad Putzier, WSJ, 18 May 2021 Many conventional lenders were either overleveraged or had highly leveraged structures that affected their ability to foreclose. Shimon Shkury, Forbes, 20 May 2021 The lender — 21st Mortgage, a company controlled by Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway — is trying to foreclose on her home. New York Times, 22 June 2021 But Reagan’s clear description of what was at stake in the competition between democracy and autocracy did not foreclose on cooperation with the Soviet Union. H. R. Mcmaster, National Review, 12 June 2021 In real life, the IRS cannot foreclose on assets such as homes or buildings absent years of the taxpayer ignoring IRS notices. Guinevere Moore, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Still, even with every incentive in the world to foreclose the lab-leak hypothesis, WHO’s head would not rule it out. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 3 June 2021 If they’re not paid, buyers could eventually foreclose on the properties. Emily Opilo,, 3 May 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Foreclose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of foreclose for Spanish Speakers


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