enforce

verb
en·force | \in-ˈfȯrs, en-\
enforced; enforcing; enforces

Definition of enforce 

transitive verb

1 : to give force to : strengthen

2 : to urge with energy enforce arguments

3 : constrain, compel enforce obedience

4 obsolete : to effect or gain by force

5 : to carry out effectively enforce laws

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from enforce

enforceability \in-ˌfȯr-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē, en- \ noun
enforceable \in-ˈfȯr-sə-bəl, en- \ adjective
enforcement \in-ˈfȯr-smənt, en- \ noun

Examples of enforce in a Sentence

Police will be enforcing the parking ban. the duty of the police is to enforce the law

Recent Examples on the Web

While there was never explicitly a law against women driving in Saudi Arabia, a ban was enforced by police and licenses were not issued to women. Aya Batrawy, The Christian Science Monitor, "Saudi Arabia’s 'driving ban' is finally lifted," 25 June 2018 While there was never explicitly a law against women driving in Saudi Arabia, a ban was enforced by police and licenses were not issued to women. Aya Batrawy, BostonGlobe.com, "Saudi women take driver’s seat as longstanding ban is lifted," 24 June 2018 In 2016, Nevadans approved a ballot measure — yet to be enforced by GOP gubernatorial candidate and Atty. David Montero, latimes.com, "Contrasting views as Trump visits Nevada: 'Best president we've ever had' to fears that 'it could get worse'," 24 June 2018 While there was never explicitly a law against women driving in Saudi Arabia, a ban was enforced by police and licenses were not issued to women. Washington Post, "Saudi women take the wheel as longstanding driving ban ends," 24 June 2018 Under the policy enforced by the administration, prior to its reversal this week, those who crossed the border illegally were criminally prosecuted, which in turn resulted in the separation of children and parents. Brian Flood, Fox News, "TIME cover paints Trump as immigration ‘boogeyman,’ in striking contrast with Obama coverage," 22 June 2018 The president opted to risk being sued by the ACLU for detaining families intact rather than cause Congress to amend their law, which was signed by Bush and enforced by Obama. Matt Murray, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 22 June 2018 McAdams said if the Warren ordinance amendment is approved, the effort probably would be enforced by the building department and the fire department, depending on how complaints or problems are reported. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Grilling in the garage in Warren could soon land you in jail," 18 June 2018 The ban could be enforced by the village, Cook County or both, Elrod said. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County Sheriff's Office will enforce assault weapons ban in Northbrook," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enforce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of enforce

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for enforce

Middle English, from Anglo-French enforcer, from en- + force force

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enforce

Phrases Related to enforce

enforce the law

law enforcement

Statistics for enforce

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enforce

The first known use of enforce was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enforce

enforce

verb

English Language Learners Definition of enforce

: to make (a law, rule, etc.) active or effective : to make sure that people do what is required by (a law, rule, etc.)

: to make (something) happen : to force or cause (something)

enforce

verb
en·force | \in-ˈfȯrs \
enforced; enforcing

Kids Definition of enforce

1 : to make happen He tried to enforce cooperation.

2 : to carry out or make effective enforce a law

Other Words from enforce

enforcement \–mənt \ noun

enforce

transitive verb
en·force
enforced; enforcing

Legal Definition of enforce 

: to cause to take effect or to be fulfilled enforcing the divorce decree Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislationU.S. Constitution amend. XIX

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on enforce

What made you want to look up enforce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!