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 vehicles were impounded and the drivers were given a Nov. 18 court date, police said. Pioneer Press Staff,, "Park Ridge police: Niles men charged with street racing were driving up to 111 mph," 17 Oct. 2019 An investigation revealed that the car had been impounded and had been stored at a facility in Boston Heights., "Argument over parked car escalates to use of pepper spray: Solon police blotter," 25 July 2019 Jarjes’ cell phone was seized, and his car was impounded at the scene, police said. Claire Rafford, azcentral, "Maricopa Police: Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting passenger," 28 June 2019 Since May 29, the 4-year-old has been having nightmares and is wetting the bed, and Ames, whose car was impounded, has been limping and is without transportation to get to work, the claim stated., "After a 4-year-old took doll from store, video shows Phoenix police pulling gun on parents," 16 June 2019 It was impounded on July 26, 2018,by Oregon State Police and later searched, but there was no sign of foul play and the couple were released, Price said. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Why did ex-Disney Mouseketeer Dennis Day die? If police know, they aren't saying," 7 June 2019 On Friday, police learned Aguila’s white 2017 Honda Civic had been impounded in San Dimas. Los Angeles Times, "Suspects arrested in disappearance of West Covina man believed killed and burned," 28 Aug. 2019 The Dutch police impounded the white rides on the risible grounds that they were unlocked (which, of course, was the point). Logan Jenkins,, "Great bike bloom is a performance art form," 5 Apr. 2018 The suspect, whose truck was being impounded when the incident occurred Monday evening, died at the scene, police said. Elizabeth Lawrence, USA TODAY, "Police search for motive in 'long and horrific gun battle' off California freeway in Riverside," 13 Aug. 2019

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

18 Nov 2019

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


How to pronounce impound (audio)

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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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impound

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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