im·​pound | \ im-ˈpau̇nd How to pronounce impound (audio) \
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

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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

Both Italy and Malta have blocked aid groups from operating rescue boats in the Mediterranean, either by refusing them entry to their ports or by impounding their vessels and putting their crews under investigation. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Rescue group: Libya left migrants to die in Mediterranean," 17 July 2018 Bibaud was then slated for arraignment in Middlesex County on Oct. 30, and the arrest report was impounded, the complaint says. Travis Andersen,, "Lawsuit alleges DA ‘directed’ conspiracy in State Police scandal," 22 June 2018 The city council in October amended the municipal code to allow police to detain anyone seen operating the vehicles in Hartford, to impound the bikes and to eventually dispose of them. Christine Dempsey,, "Ten Arrested During ATV, Dirt Bike Roundup In Hartford, City Says," 23 Apr. 2018 Troopers stopped the drivers, impounded their vehicles and booked all four men into Orleans Justice Center jail on charges related to reckless driving, as well as various other counts. Littice Bacon-blood,, "2 injured in separate shootings; 1 critical, NOPD reports," 11 Feb. 2018 Trucks seized from smugglers by the Nigerien military sit impounded at a military base in Agadez on July 18. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "‘A Nest of Spies’: Niger’s Deserts Become Front Line of Fight Against Jihadism," 17 Sep. 2018 He was charged with reckless driving and exhibition of speed and had is car impounded for 30 days, according to a CHP Facebook post. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Driver arrested after 'sideshow' shuts San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge," 21 Aug. 2018 For the next three months, with the Jie Shun impounded at Ain Sokhna port, a diplomatic tug-of-war played out. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Need a North Korean Missile? Call the Cairo Embassy," 3 Mar. 2018 Any potential crackdown on RVs in The Emerald City may face a legal hurdle, after a King County Superior Court judge ruled in March that the city could not seize a homeless man's truck when it was towed and impounded in 2016, according to KOMO. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Seattle homeless crisis leaves Jewish cemetery dealing with parked RVs, leftover needles, trash," 3 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

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce impound (audio) \
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 How to pronounce impound (audio) \

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

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).


having no equal

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