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

Katz, whose vehicle was located and impounded by investigators, is believed to have stayed somewhere locally on Saturday night before the shooting. Fox News, "Jacksonville fallout: Gaming company cancels remaining Madden Classic qualifier tournaments," 28 Aug. 2018 Pennington’s boat was impounded by the Port of San Francisco on May 1 and is being held in lieu of a lien for $5,409 in unpaid tariffs going back to mid-April. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, "Renegade sailor gets probation, order to stay away from Aquatic Park Cove for five years," 10 May 2018 Electric scooters impounded by the city of San Francisco. Eliot Brown, WSJ, "Adults Are Terrorizing San Francisco On Tiny Electric Scooters," 25 Apr. 2018 The University of Georgia impounded 1,206 of Bird’s scooters after the company put them on its Athens campus in August without approval. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "States Race to Catch Up With Electric Scooters," 17 Dec. 2018 Two animal control officers impounded the birds, leading to what one officer said was a physical confrontation with Recchia. Maura Dolan,, "Homeless man gets another chance to sue L.A. for euthanizing his birds," 1 May 2018 Police impounded the car, cited the driver for failing to comply with a driver's license suspension, and police are awaiting test results on suspected drugs found inside the car. Bruce Geiselman,, "Police arrest suspected drunken driver: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 24 Mar. 2018 According to the Chronicles of Turkmenistan, some motorists have found their cars to be missing this new year, because many black cars have been towed to police impound lots. Tony Markovich, Car and Driver, "None Black: Turkmenistan Is Reportedly Banning Black Cars," 10 Jan. 2018 The other two drivers seen in the video got away, but several of the customized cars that were blocking traffic were ticketed for mechanical violations and one impounded because its driver didn’t have a license. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Driver arrested after 'sideshow' shuts San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge," 21 Aug. 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

14 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on impound

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impound

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impound

Spanish Central: Translation of impound

Nglish: Translation of impound for Spanish Speakers

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