v. fore·closed, fore·clos·ing, fore·clos·es
a. To enforce (a lien, deed of trust, or mortgage) in whatever manner is provided for by law.
b. To bring a suit to prevent a mortgagor from redeeming (a property) by paying any outstanding debt.
2. To exclude or rule out; bar.
3. To settle or resolve beforehand.
To enforce a lien, deed of trust, or mortgage as permitted by law: The bank foreclosed on the property.
[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + clore, to close (from Latin claudere).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.