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From Middle English escrowe, ascrowe (escrow), from Old French escroe, escrowe (scroll, strip of parchment), from Frankish *skrōda (a shred). Doublet of scroll.



escrow (countable and uncountable, plural escrows)

  1. (law) A written instrument, such as a deed, temporarily deposited with a neutral third party (the escrow agent), by the agreement of two parties to a valid contract. The escrow agent will deliver the document to the benefited party when the conditions of the contract have been met. The depositor has no control over the instrument in escrow.
  2. (law) In common law, escrow applied to the deposits only of instruments for conveyance of land, but it now applies to all instruments so deposited.
  3. (law) Money or other property so deposited is also loosely referred to as escrow.
  4. The state of property deposited with an escrow agent.
    • 2006, Kathryn J Haupt, Principles of California Real Estate, page 305:
      The court will decide which party is the rightful owner of the items in escrow.
    • 2012, Madison Lake, Jade Lake, Salon Antics, page 22:
      “Well, Dominic,” Della suddenly chimed in. “Seeing as this place of yours is still under escrow, seems to me it's not really yours yet, is it?”


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


escrow (third-person singular simple present escrows, present participle escrowing, simple past and past participle escrowed)

  1. To place in escrow.
    • 2007 March 3, Vikas Bajaj, “U.S. Urges Lenders to Revise Standards on Granting Credit”, in New York Times[1]:
      The regulators suggest that in underwriting these loans, lenders be required to take into account the ability of the borrowers to make monthly payments at the higher rates and also property taxes and homeowners insurance, which are often not escrowed monthly in subprime loans.

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