im·pound | \im-ˈpau̇nd \
impounded; impounding; impounds

Definition of impound 

transitive verb

1a : to shut up in or as if in a pound : confine

b : to seize and hold in the custody of the law

c : to take possession of she was dismissed and her manuscript impounded— Jonathan Weiner

2 : 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 suspect's vehicle was impounded pending the outcome of the investigation, police said. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Car crashes into Lake Station mobile home, engulfs in flames," 8 Mar. 2018 Officers impounded several cars believed to be connected to the incident and are hoping surveillance cameras in the area captured the shooter. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Man shot, killed outside northeast Atlanta recording studio," 12 July 2018 The dam, which does not appear to be in imminent danger of failing, impounds a 9-acre lake. Nancy Daly,, "Fish moved from lake at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site," 4 July 2018 Under grazing regulations, federal officials can impound livestock that damages public lands. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "In the Battle for the American West, the Cowboys Are Losing," 30 Mar. 2018 If they are not removed within two hours, the bikes will be impounded. Gustavo Solis,, "Coronado declares dockless bikes a 'public nuisance' and plans to impound them," 20 Mar. 2018 One of the male detainees kept through Sunday heard cops at the 20th District station complaining that their nightsticks were being impounded. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Music What caused the melee outside a Public Enemy and Sonic Youth show at the Aragon in 1990?," 23 Feb. 2018 The city of Coronado has impounded more than 100 dockless bicycles since March. Gustavo Solis,, "Coronado to recycle impounded dockless bicycles," 4 July 2018 Israel has impounded the money for periods in the past, as a punitive measure or to pressure the Palestinian leadership. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Israel Penalizes Palestinians for Payments to Prisoners and ‘Martyrs’," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impound.' 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 impound

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

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Statistics for impound

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for impound

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

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Financial Definition of impound

What It Is

In the real estate world, an impound is an account that mortgage companies use to collect property taxes, homeowners insurance, private mortgage insurance and other payments that are required by the homeowner but are not part of principal and interest. Impound accounts are also called escrow accounts.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe buys a house and borrows $100,000. The interest rate is 4%, and the loan is a 30-year mortgage. His monthly payment is $477.42, which includes interest and principal.

John Doe didn't put down 20%, so the lender requires an impound account. Every month, another $250 is deducted automatically from John's checking account and put in the impound account. This ensures that the money is there to pay the insurance and property tax bills when they arrive every six months.

Why It Matters

Impound accounts mitigate a lender's risk because they ensure that the homeowner won't lose the house (which is the bank's collateral for the mortgage) due to tax liens or unpaid insurance bills. Usually, the mortgage lender is responsible for paying the tax and insurance bills out of the impound account on time; however, if the mortgage lender fails to do so, the homeowner is still on the hook.

Usually, lenders require impound accounts when the borrower puts down less than 20% on a house. If the borrower puts down more than 20%, impound accounts aren't always required, though they are often convenient for ensuring that the bills are paid.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of impound

: to use legal powers to get and hold (something)


im·pound | \im-ˈpau̇nd \
impounded; impounding

Kids Definition of impound

: to shut up in or as if in an enclosed place impound cattle

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transitive verb
im·pound | \im-ˈpau̇nd \

Legal Definition of impound 

: 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

Other Words from impound

impoundment noun

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See words that rhyme with impound

Spanish Central: Translation of impound

Nglish: Translation of impound for Spanish Speakers

Comments on impound

What made you want to look up impound? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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