• synonyms


[fawr-klohz, fohr-]
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verb (used with object), fore·closed, fore·clos·ing.
  1. Law.
    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).
  2. to shut out; exclude; bar.
  3. to hinder or prevent, as from doing something.
  4. to establish an exclusive claim to.
  5. to close, settle, or answer beforehand.
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verb (used without object), fore·closed, fore·clos·ing.
  1. to foreclose a mortgage or pledge.
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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 formsfore·clos·a·ble, adjectivenon·fore·clos·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for foreclose

preclude, expropriate, deprive, prevent, bar, confiscate, impound, dispossess, seize

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Contemporary Examples of foreclose

Historical Examples of foreclose

British Dictionary definitions for foreclose


  1. law to deprive (a mortgagor, etc) of the right to redeem (a mortgage or pledge)
  2. (tr) to shut out; bar
  3. (tr) to prevent or hinder
  4. (tr) to answer or settle (an obligation, promise, etc) in advance
  5. (tr) to make an exclusive claim to
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Derived Formsforeclosable, adjectiveforeclosure (fɔːˈkləʊʒə), noun

Word Origin for foreclose

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper