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[verb im-pound; noun im-pound] /verb ɪmˈpaʊnd; noun ˈɪm paʊnd/
verb (used with object)
to shut up in a pound or other enclosure, as a stray animal.
to confine within an enclosure or within limits:
water impounded in a reservoir.
to seize and retain in custody of the law, as a document for evidence.
money, property, etc., that has been impounded:
a sale of impounds by the police department.
Origin of impound
1545-55; im-3 + pound3
Related forms
impoundable, adjective
impounder, noun
unimpounded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for impound
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I resolved to impound the waters of my spring in the ravine and keep fish at last—without salt—to my heart's content.

    The Amateur Garden George W. Cable
  • And when next ye seek to impound me, come in force, sir–come in force!

  • "And you'll probably find that your creditors will impound the banking account of Mr. Cornelius," said Holmes.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
  • After Colonel W. left for town, he went to his wife and asked her what the Colonel meant by telling him to impound the ox.

    Lincoln's Yarns and Stories Alexander K. McClure
  • We impound water without knowing the effects of that impoundment on its quality.

    The Nation's River United States Department of the Interior
  • I'm going to send for engineers and find what it will cost to impound water in the cordilleras and run ditches into the valley.

    A Daughter of the Dons William MacLeod Raine
  • It can be shown that the area of the reservoir necessary to impound water enough to produce 100 horse-power would be 40 acres.

    The Story of the Heavens Robert Stawell Ball
British Dictionary definitions for impound


verb (transitive)
to confine (stray animals, illegally parked cars, etc) in a pound
  1. to seize (chattels, etc) by legal right
  2. to take possession of (a document, evidence, etc) and hold in legal custody
to collect (water) in a reservoir or dam, as for irrigation
to seize or appropriate
Derived Forms
impoundable, adjective
impoundage, impoundment, noun
impounder, noun
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 impound

early 15c., "to shut up in a pen or pound," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + pound (n.). Originally of cattle seized by law. Related: Impounded; impounding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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