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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.



foreclose (third-person singular simple present forecloses, present participle foreclosing, simple past and past participle foreclosed)

  1. (transitive) To repossess a mortgaged property whose owner has failed to make the necessary payments; used with on.
    They have to move out of their house because the bank foreclosed on their mortgage.
  2. (transitive) To cut off (a mortgager) by a judgment of court from the power of redeeming the mortgaged premises.
  3. (transitive) To prevent from doing something.
  4. (transitive) To shut up or out; to preclude; to stop; to prevent; to bar; to exclude.
    • Carew
      The embargo with Spain foreclosed this trade.

Derived terms[edit]