[verb im-pound; noun im-pound]

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.


Nearby words

  1. impostume,
  2. imposture,
  3. imposure,
  4. impotence,
  5. impotent,
  6. impoundment,
  7. impoverish,
  8. impoverished,
  9. impoverishment,
  10. impower

Origin of impound

First recorded in 1545–55; im-3 + pound3

Related formsim·pound·a·ble, adjectiveim·pound·er, nounun·im·pound·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impounding

British Dictionary definitions for impounding


verb (tr)

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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper