im·​pound im-ˈpau̇nd How to pronounce impound (audio)
impounded; impounding; impounds

transitive verb

: to shut up in or as if in a pound : confine
: to seize and hold in the custody of the law
: to take possession of
she was dismissed and her manuscript impoundedJonathan Weiner
: to collect and confine (water) in or as if in a reservoir

Examples of impound in a Sentence

The police impounded her car because it was illegally parked. impound evidence for a trial
Recent Examples on the Web The company also wants to impound all bootleg DVDs from the operation while forcing PayPal to give up all the revenue from the DVD sales to Amazon. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 24 Aug. 2023 Under the program, police have had authority to impound vehicles driven by people who had accumulated more than $1,000 worth of specific driving or equipment citations. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Aug. 2023 The car was found unoccupied in a parking lot near West 208th Street and impounded to be returned to the owner. cleveland, 11 Aug. 2023 Animal impounded: Brush Avenue Police conducted a welfare check Sept. 6 at an apartment and found a dog was being kept in an unsanitary environment. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 13 Sep. 2023 The Italian government has vowed to go after human smugglers and has restricted the activities of charity rescue ships, impounding several of their vessels last month. Alvise Armellini, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Sep. 2023 In July, investigators from New York impounded a black Chevy Avalanche pick up truck from a property Heuermann owns in Chester, S.C., which is about an hour-and-a-half from Sumter. Kc Baker, Peoplemag, 6 Sep. 2023 Read full article Prosecutors did not disclose details of the stabbing in court and the police report was impounded. Talia Lissauer,, 23 Aug. 2023 Zdarsky was grounded, his trike was impounded, and the StB was onto him. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of impound was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near impound

Cite this Entry

“Impound.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​pound im-ˈpau̇nd How to pronounce impound (audio)
: to shut up in or as if in an enclosed place
: to seize and hold in the hands of the law
impound evidence for a trial

Legal Definition


transitive verb
im·​pound im-ˈpau̇nd How to pronounce impound (audio)
: to take control of in the custody of the law or by legal authority
impound a vehicle
the police impounded the dwelling until the search warrant was obtained
impoundment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on impound

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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