• synonyms


[verb im-pound; noun im-pound]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to shut up in a pound or other enclosure, as a stray animal.
  2. to confine within an enclosure or within limits: water impounded in a reservoir.
  3. to seize and retain in custody of the law, as a document for evidence.
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  1. money, property, etc., that has been impounded: a sale of impounds by the police department.
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Origin of impound

First recorded in 1545–55; im-3 + pound3
Related formsim·pound·a·ble, adjectiveim·pound·er, nounun·im·pound·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for impounding

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for impounding


verb (tr)
  1. 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
  2. to collect (water) in a reservoir or dam, as for irrigation
  3. to seize or appropriate
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Derived Formsimpoundable, adjectiveimpoundage or impoundment, nounimpounder, 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

Word Origin and History for impounding



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper