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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
First recorded in 1545-55; im-3 + pound3
Related forms
impoundable, adjective
impounder, noun
unimpounded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for impound
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And when next ye seek to impound me, come in force, sir–come in force!

  • Steal it or impound it or take it away legally, you've got to know how it runs.

    The Fourth R George Oliver Smith
  • Does not the Maharajah-sahib impound all horses left ownerless?

    Rung Ho! Talbot Mundy
  • No. 5; by either of which I was fully authorized to seize and impound all trespassers—a limit and license that included dragons.

    The Bushman Edward Wilson Landor
  • 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
  • They were first opened to admit the ship, and then closed to impound the water that flows up through the bottom of the lock.

    The Panama Canal

    Frederic Jennings Haskin
  • 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
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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