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

  • transitive v. To deprive (a mortgagor) of the right to redeem mortgaged property, as when payments have not been made.
  • transitive v. To bar an equity or a right to redeem (a mortgage).
  • transitive v. To exclude or rule out; bar.
  • transitive v. To settle or resolve beforehand.
  • intransitive v. To bar an equity or a right to redeem a mortgage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to repossess a mortgaged property whose owner has failed to make the necessary payments
  • v. to prevent from doing something

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To shut up or out; to preclude; to stop; to prevent; to bar; to exclude.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shut out; exclude; prevent.
  • In law: To shut out by a judicial decree from further opportunity to assert a right or claim: said of the process by which all persons previously having right to redeem property from a forfeiture for non-payment of a debt are finally cut off from that right: as, to foreclose a mortgager of his equity of redemption.
  • Hence— To enforce, as a mortgage, by shutting out in due process of law a mortgager and those claiming under him from the right to redeem the property mortgaged.
  • To enforce a mortgage.

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

  • v. keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  • v. subject to foreclosing procedures; take away the right of mortgagors to redeem their mortgage


Middle English forclosen, to exclude from an inheritance, from Old French forclos, shut out, past participle of forclore, to exclude : fors-, outside (from Latin forīs; see dhwer- in Indo-European roots) + clore, to close (from Latin claudere).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English foreclosen, forclosen, from Old French forclos, past participle of forclore ("to exclude"), from for + clore ("to shut"). Some senses originated from or were influenced by Middle English forclusen ("to close up"), from Old English forclȳsan ("to close up"), equivalent to for- +‎ close. (Wiktionary)



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