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[fawr-klohz, fohr-] /fɔrˈkloʊz, foʊr-/
verb (used with object), foreclosed, foreclosing.
  1. to deprive (a mortgagor or pledgor) of the right to redeem his or her property, especially on failure to make payment on a mortgage when due, ownership of property then passing to the mortgagee.
  2. to take away the right to redeem (a mortgage or pledge).
to shut out; exclude; bar.
to hinder or prevent, as from doing something.
to establish an exclusive claim to.
to close, settle, or answer beforehand.
verb (used without object), foreclosed, foreclosing.
to foreclose a mortgage or pledge.
Origin of foreclose
1250-1300; Middle English foreclosen < Old French forclos, past participle of forclore to exclude, equivalent to for- out + clore to shut (< Latin claudere)
Related forms
foreclosable, adjective
nonforeclosing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foreclose
  • The only surefire way to get out of a crushing mortgage is to stop mailing in checks and incite the bank to foreclose.
  • Because the bank is threatening to foreclose on their mortgage, he intends to turn the house into a flying machine and escape.
  • His nose is often broken off, to foreclose him returning from the dead.
  • In fact, it will likely make them more eager to foreclose since there is equity there.
  • The world is an imperfect place and one big life decision does foreclose on many other opportunities.
  • My comment would not foreclose the possibility that some other research demonstrates that genes do influence intelligence.
  • When the bank comes to foreclose on your castle, run and find your dad.
  • The panelists generally appeared to agree that borrowers who are underwater or have second liens are mostly doomed to foreclose.
  • The bank told the family it intended to foreclose upon their house.
  • If they foreclose on the home, chances are they'll be lucky to get the market value.
British Dictionary definitions for foreclose


(law) to deprive (a mortgagor, etc) of the right to redeem (a mortgage or pledge)
(transitive) to shut out; bar
(transitive) to prevent or hinder
(transitive) to answer or settle (an obligation, promise, etc) in advance
(transitive) to make an exclusive claim to
Derived Forms
foreclosable, adjective
foreclosure (fɔːˈkləʊʒə) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French forclore, from for- out + clore to close, from Latin claudere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for foreclose

late 13c., from Old French forclos, past participle of forclore "exclude" (12c.), from fors "out" (Modern French hors; from Latin foris "outside;" see foreign) + clore "to shut" (see close (v.)). Senses in English influenced by words in for-. Specific mortgage law sense is first attested 1728. Related: Foreclosed; foreclosing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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