gar·​nish·​ment | \ ˈgär-nish-mənt How to pronounce garnishment (audio) \

Definition of garnishment

2 : a legal summons or warning concerning the attachment of property to satisfy a debt
3 : a stoppage of a specified sum from wages to satisfy a creditor or a legal obligation (such as child support)

Examples of garnishment in a Sentence

a high-end caterer whose dishes feature an array of over-the-top garnishments
Recent Examples on the Web Some communities send debt from school tickets to collection agencies and warn of wage garnishment, liens and loss of driving privileges if the debt is not paid. Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 Borrowers in default have long faced wage garnishment, damage to their credit and substantial collections fees. cleveland, 16 Apr. 2022 Those falsely accused of fraud were subjected to quadruple penalties and collections techniques such as wage garnishment and seizure of income tax refunds. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, 3 Mar. 2022 Once the payment pause and collections suspension ends this May, borrowers in default on their federal student loans may be subject to administrative wage garnishment, offset of Social Security benefits, and seizure of federal tax refunds. Adam S. Minsky, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 Prosecutors can’t discuss Hayes’ employment at a West Palm Beach restaurant regarding any complaints of harassment or garnishment of his wages due to child support. Garfield Hylton,, 14 Jan. 2022 Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which a court permits a creditor to collect money from someone's bank account or salary to repay a debt. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, 13 Nov. 2021 This means that wage garnishment and offset of income tax returns and Social Security will resume for defaulted borrowers at this time. Robert Farrington, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 And then my name was added to the next escalation in collection efforts: another letter, another call, eventually a court order and wage garnishment. Kristin Collier, Longreads, 1 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'garnishment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of garnishment

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for garnishment

(sense 1) garnish entry 1 + -ment; (senses 2-3) borrowed from Anglo-French garnissement "warning, notification, notification concerning the attachment of property to satisfy a debt," from garniss-, stem of garnir "to give notice, warn, give legal summons" + -ment -ment — more at garnish entry 1

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The first known use of garnishment was in 1550

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Garnishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for garnishment


gar·​nish·​ment | \ ˈgär-nish-mənt How to pronounce garnishment (audio) \

Legal Definition of garnishment

: a remedial device used by a creditor to have property of the debtor or money owed to the debtor that is in the possession of a third party attached to pay the debt to the creditor specifically : attachment of the debtor's wages to satisfy a judgment — compare wage assignment at assignment

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