gar·​nish·​ment ˈgär-nish-mənt How to pronounce garnishment (audio)
: a legal summons or warning concerning the attachment of property to satisfy a debt
: 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 In March, a federal court clerk in Detroit filed a writ of continuing garnishment to enforce the restitution judgment. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 14 May 2024 It has been given the omnipotent, totalitarian power to simply seize the money through garnishments, liens, attachments, and other non-judicial means. Jacob Hornberger, Orange County Register, 12 May 2024 What sets Anthem apart from its competitors is its unique offerings of assistance with filing for wage garnishment and securing tax levy release. Sponsored Content, The Mercury News, 12 Mar. 2024 This encompasses various legal disputes related to taxes, from audits and appeals to wage garnishments and back taxes. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 5 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for garnishment 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'garnishment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


(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

First Known Use

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of garnishment was in 1550

Dictionary Entries Near garnishment

Cite this Entry

“Garnishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on garnishment

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