from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To confine in or as if in a pound: capture and impound stray dogs.
  • transitive v. To seize and retain in legal custody: impounding disputed electoral ballots.
  • transitive v. To set aside in a fund rather than spend as prescribed: a governor who impounded monies designated for use by cities.
  • transitive v. To accumulate and store in a reservoir: By damming the stream, the engineers impounded its waters for irrigation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To shut up or place in an enclosure called a pound.
  • v. To hold in the custody of a court or its delegate.
  • v. To collect and hold (funds) for payment of property taxes and insurance on property in which one has a security interest.
  • n. A place in which things are impounded.
  • n. A state of being impounded.
  • n. That which has been impounded.
  • n. Amounts collected from a debtor and held by one with a security interest in property for payment of property taxes and insurance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To shut up or place in an inclosure called a pound; hence, to hold in the custody of some authority such as police or a court

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put, shut, or confine in or as in a pound or close pen; restrain within bounds; confine: as, to impound stray horses, cattle, etc.
  • To take and retain possession of, as a forged document produced as evidence in a trial and directed to be held in custody of the law, in order that a prosecution may be instituted in respect of it.
  • To gather and retain (water) in a reservoir, basin, or pond.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. place or shut up in a pound
  • v. take temporary possession of as a security, by legal authority


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It's very hard to claim a vehicle from death row, and the duty officer at the impound is a close friend of mine.

    Hollywood Nocturne

  • Obviously, this depleted my escrow account also known as impound by about $1,800, which is the portion my neighbor Bill rightfully owes. - Top Stories

  • The first Crappie Derby was held in 1974 on the famed flood control impound, which is a dammed section of the Otselic River, drawing 190 participants. -

  • He then offers four policies that would "offset the revenue loss twice over," though I'm quite sure the CBO wouldn't agree with that assessment: recalling unspent TARP and stimulus funds; giving the president the power to "impound" congressional spending projects in order to spend less; a federal hiring freeze; and "some sort of regulatory forbearance period in which the job-killing practice of agonizingly slow environmental permitting is suspended."

    Mitch Daniels has a plan

  • In response, Washington spymasters tried to unofficially "impound" his investment in the Nepalese casinos.

    Cui Bono Mumbai?

  • At its most recent meeting, the City Council approved $30,000 for a system to "impound" groundwater in a 524-acre parcel near Pheasant Ridge. rss feed

  • But Nixon argued that even if a presidential veto had been overridden by Congress or even if he had signed the bill, he still had presidential authority to impound funds and prevent them from being spent.

    The Conservative Assault on the Constitution

  • All morning long at a Lorton impound lot, you could practically see the waves of resentment coming off people in the waiting room.

    After D.C. storm, bewildered drivers ask: 'Dude, where's my car?'

  • But as each person stepped up to the counter to fork over the $200 impound fee, most simply muttered inaudibly underneath their breath.

    After D.C. storm, bewildered drivers ask: 'Dude, where's my car?'

  • Police at the nearby precinct sent Woolfolk and his dad on a wild goose chase of impound lots, none of which had his car.

    After D.C. storm, bewildered drivers ask: 'Dude, where's my car?'


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