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 impounded Jonathan Weiner
: to collect and confine (water) in or as if in a reservoir

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Example Sentences

The police impounded her car because it was illegally parked. impound evidence for a trial
Recent Examples on the Web An ordinance the City Council passed in June allows police to impound cars involved in stunt driving and issue $10,000 fines. Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, 30 Aug. 2022 The department’s no-chase policy prohibits officers from pursuing the riders, but police can still seize and impound the vehicles. Omari Daniels, Washington Post, 9 July 2022 Department policy is to impound possessions left behind following an arrest. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 June 2022 Last Thursday, a Fijian judge ruled that local law enforcement could impound Amadea, a 348-foot superyacht valued at $325 million. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 9 May 2022 Only a market possessed of certain structural features, price system advocates conclude, can impound so much data and thereby coordinate supplies with demands. Robert Hockett, Forbes, 5 June 2022 Lawyers for Wesley Chapel Crossing argued that that law gives present-day property owners the right to impound an unauthorized motor vehicle. Bill Rankin, ajc, 14 Dec. 2021 Tow truck operators impound nearly 650 vehicles a month from private parking lots in Portland, with hotspots in the central city, North Portland and east of 82nd avenue. oregonlive, 24 Apr. 2022 Judith Adams, vice president for internal and external affairs for the Port Authority, said that the port doesn’t handle much Russian cargo and hasn’t been aware of any directive to impound or confiscate cargo because of sanctions. al, 3 Apr. 2022 See More

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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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 3 Oct. 2022.

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Kids Definition



im·​pound im-ˈpau̇nd How to pronounce impound (audio)
impounded; impounding
: to shut up in or as if in an enclosed place
impound cattle

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

More from Merriam-Webster on impound

Last Updated: 19 Sep 2022

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