enforce

verb
en·​force | \ in-ˈfȯrs How to pronounce enforce (audio) , 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

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Other Words from enforce

enforceability \ in-​ˌfȯr-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce enforceability (audio) , en-​ \ noun
enforceable \ in-​ˈfȯr-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce enforceable (audio) , en-​ \ adjective
enforcement \ in-​ˈfȯr-​smənt How to pronounce enforcement (audio) , 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

Shortly after Semenya came back to the sport in 2011, a new rule was enacted to enforce testosterone-level limits in female athletes. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "What to Know About Olympic Runner Caster Semenya, and Why Her Case Matters," 2 May 2019 Further protests took place in some former opposition areas recaptured by the government after authorities moved to enforce military conscription there despite promises to hold off. Sarah El Deeb, The Seattle Times, "Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings," 13 Apr. 2019 The only way the pipeline could be stopped would be if all states individually strengthened their gun laws at once — or, more realistically, if the federal government passed a law that enforces stricter rules across the US. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 Many national parks remain open during the shutdown, but park rangers and other personnel are not on-duty to enforce rules or collect trash left by visitors. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "5 Ways the Government Shutdown Is Impacting Americans," 3 Jan. 2019 The complaint, which alleges negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, says the Lebdas have refused to make changes and the association has not enforced covenants. Rick Rothacker, charlotteobserver, "Congressman Pittenger's latest opponent is his millionaire CEO neighbor," 14 June 2018 But given the reality that there are oppressive systems and hegemonies of power currently in place that enforce narrow gender expectations and beauty ideals, undergoing FFS was the right choice for me. Serena Daniari, Allure, "The Complicated Process of Undergoing Facial-Feminization Surgery, and Why I Did It," 23 Mar. 2019 And NDAs can be hard to enforce in a courtroom, not to mention in the court of public opinion. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 Yet that is a relatively small portion of what each department does: the Education Department provides university loans and grants and enforces civil-rights laws in schools. The Economist, "Remaking the federal government," 28 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.

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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

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Statistics for enforce

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enforce

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

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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 How to pronounce enforce (audio) \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on enforce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enforce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enforce

Spanish Central: Translation of enforce

Nglish: Translation of enforce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enforce for Arabic Speakers

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