Definition of impound in English:



[with object]
  • 1Seize and take legal custody of (something, especially a vehicle, goods, or documents) because of an infringement of a law.

    ‘vehicles parked where they cause an obstruction will be impounded’
    • ‘Their driver's licenses have been seized and their vehicles were impounded for 48 hours.’
    • ‘Tough new regulations giving the Vehicle Inspectorate powers to impound heavy goods vehicles operated without a licence are now in force with the industry's backing.’
    • ‘Subsequently HM Customs and Excise impounded the car on 15 September until 15 November.’
    • ‘Police impounded the vehicle and forensic and DNA tests are being performed to identify the origin of the blood.’
    • ‘The taxi operators accuse government of failing to issue permits to taxi operators, and then impounding their vehicles for not having permits.’
    • ‘He has been unable to stick to the agreed payments because he said he was unable to work while his lorry was impounded and because mounting legal costs for his appeal and the travel costs to and from Greece.’
    • ‘The policeman was checking and impounding the vehicles in public interest.’
    • ‘If any watercraft owner, master, operator or managing agent fails to pay moorage or other service fees, a boat may be presumed to be abandoned, and may also be impounded by the Port.’
    • ‘The research added: ‘At present, police do not have the legal authority to impound these vehicles.’’
    • ‘Two light goods vehicles were impounded and 1,800 litres of illicit oil seized.’
    • ‘In that case the police impounded a vehicle which was being operated without a proper validation sticker and by a person for whom there was an outstanding warrant for driving without insurance.’
    • ‘This is the question irate travellers who have their cosmetics and wines impounded by security and customs personnel at Johannesburg's Oliver Tambo International Airport ask.’
    • ‘The truck and the motorcycle were impounded as vehicles used in illegal activities.’
    • ‘Initiative B was intended to remove the profit incentive from forfeitures and prevent police from zealously impounding cars or seizing property of innocent third parties in criminal cases.’
    • ‘The raccoon was taken into custody and the vehicle was impounded.’
    • ‘More than 400 vehicles were impounded by the police over one weekend for traffic violations, including speeding.’
    • ‘Cola said vehicles are only impounded and kept at police stations when there are difficulties in arranging for payments.’
    • ‘Under the law, police can impound the cars and the court can permanently confiscate a vehicle if it is used to commit a second offence.’
    • ‘The amendments broaden the range of motor vehicles exempt from taxes to include unroadworthy motor vehicles and motor vehicles impounded by the tax administration or judicial authorities.’
    • ‘Other times they would just impound our goods for selling food in the complex,’ she recalls.’
    confiscate, appropriate, take possession of, seize, commandeer, expropriate, requisition, sequester, sequestrate, take
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  • 2Shut up (domestic animals) in a pound or enclosure.

    ‘the cattle were rounded up and impounded’
    • ‘In addition, every citizen has the right to pick up a stray pet and have it impounded by the Animal Control Officers.’
    • ‘Council Local Laws Officers authorised under Keeping, Control and Impounding of Animals Local Law 2003, have impounded the animals listed below.’
    • ‘You become an activist when your dog is impounded, or a freeway is built past your house, or your child gets a disease because of pollution or sour gas.’
    • ‘It makes no sense to impound stray animals if there is no place to keep them.’
    • ‘The following is a listing of the dogs currently impounded at the Linn County Dog Control facility.’
    • ‘Enviromental wardens were called to the scene and the dogs were impounded in a kennel in Blackburn.’
    • ‘Territorial authorities will have the power to impound dogs charged for dangerous offences, while their owners await prosecution proceedings.’
    • ‘The fish were to be impounded and handed over to the SPCA for safekeeping, Singh said.’
    • ‘One proposal was changing the amount of time dogs were impounded from 72 hours to one week.’
    • ‘Up to 30 dogs a week are impounded by Newry and Mourne District Council throughout the course of the year.’
    • ‘Nowadays, as a conservation measure, local councils have imposed curfews for domestic cats and begun impounding felines found wandering the streets at night.’
    • ‘Geraldton City Council and local vets are joining forces to reduce the number of lost and impounded animals.’
    • ‘Twenty-one animals were impounded for being on the roads, 71 drivers were summonsed for not wearing safety belts and five drivers were summonsed for talking on their cellular phones while driving.’
    • ‘The chicken was impounded by food safety officials after tests showed it contained nitrofurans and chloramphenicol.’
    • ‘People had to licence their dogs and keep them under control on their own property, otherwise the dogs would be impounded and most likely put down.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, some horse owners find themselves unable to properly care for their animals, and the animals must be impounded.’
    • ‘Figures from the latest report by Waterford County Council revealed that of 681 dogs impounded by the Pound last year, just eight were re-claimed and 21 re-homed.’
    • ‘Up to 30 dogs a week are picked up or abandoned and impounded by the council, and once they're in, they have five days for their original or a new owner to pick them up before the contract vet is called in.’
    • ‘At the moment, a lot of the costs of dogs being impounded and so on are borne by those who pay their rates.’
    • ‘On Saturday, 13 stray cattle were impounded near Berlin after a motorist swerved to avoid them and rolled his vehicle.’
    pen in, shut in, shut up, fence in, coop up, hem in, box in, hedge in, rail in
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    1. 2.1 Lock up (someone)
      ‘almost forgotten were the poor unfortunates impounded in the prison’
      • ‘One week we're impounded, and one week we're not.’
      lock up, incarcerate, imprison, confine, intern, immure, hold captive, hold prisoner, put under lock and key
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  • 3(of a dam) hold back (water)

    ‘it will impound a reservoir 130 miles long’
    • ‘Dams could both drop water and impound it, and multipurpose dams after World War II seemed self justifying.’
    • ‘Birds love water, and wildlife authorities are planning to create a few more ponds inside the Guindy National Park to impound rainwater more effectively.’
    • ‘If Yellowstone's waters had been dammed, two iconic national parks would have succumbed to resource development, and it would have been far easier to impound water in all national parks.’
    • ‘The Corps' Yazoo Pumps plan would drain water impounded by levees during high stages on the Mississippi River.’
    • ‘Massive undersea landslides and the breakage of ice or sediment dams impounding large lakes are terrestrial processes that lead to release of water.’
    • ‘It would all depend on whether the water impounded by the landslip leaked through slowly or the blockage gave way suddenly due to pressure.’
    • ‘In certain situations decreases in soil grade can lead to the impounding of water at or near the soil surface.’
    • ‘There was speculation that Yorkshire Water's impounding reservoir in Boltby Forest, a mile from the village and 300 ft higher, had burst its dam and contributed to the flash flood.’
    • ‘Indeed, the dams which impound the headwaters release a weekly dose of ‘compensation flow’, which delivers at least one artificial spate for your holiday, even with the sun beating down.’
    • ‘TLDP III alone will impound water in a reservoir and submerge 156.49 hectares.’
    • ‘When the Three Gorges Dam begins to impound the waters of the Yangtze River in south central China later this year, dozens of the mountains and other elevated areas upstream will become islands.’
    • ‘At a cost of £26 million, the marina project will initially require significant civil engineering work to create the development land and impound water within the marina.’
    • ‘Heavy downpours during recent months caused impounded water to rise faster than the spillways could cope and they collapsed Sept.12, forcing 1,000 families to flee the area.’
    • ‘Just before the locks and dams impounded water, timber was clear-cut and the remaining stump fields are so hazardous that even avid fishermen avoid them.’
    • ‘This topography limits Iraq's ability to impound the waters of the Euphrates behind high dams; consequently, they empty into the Gulf without being put to use.’
    • ‘A dam is an artificial barrier constructed across a stream channel to impound water.’
    • ‘The effluent gets blended with the floods impounded by the dam and the water quality becomes slightly improved.’
    • ‘Pakistan's fear is that the project would impound the Chenab waters within India and thus deprive Pakistan what is exclusively its.’
    • ‘There are no mountain gorges on the Euphrates in Syria and the few places suitable for even the shallow impounding of water have already been utilized: the Tishreen Dam, the Thawrah Dam, and the Ba'ath Dam.’
    • ‘I really thought that a team of top Central officials and water experts would be scurrying about in the two States, visiting the areas where the crop was wilting and where the impounded water was standing.’