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

But the problem is, it’s never been enforced or adhered to. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Lilly Ledbetter Talks Ambition, Equal Pay, and Women in Politics Ahead of the Tory Burch Foundation’s Embrace Ambition Event," 8 Mar. 2019 But remember: These TSA agents are just doing their job, and enforcing policies set out by the U.S. government. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Rules For Flying to Follow So You Don't Get Kicked Off Your Flight," 19 Dec. 2018 Much of the Arctic is indeed Russian territory and fighter patrols are a way of enforcing Russian sovereignty. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Resumes Fighter Patrols Over the North Pole," 6 Feb. 2019 In November, Tencent began to require users to prove their ages and identities in order to more strictly enforce curfews on young gamers. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "China lifts video game ban but not for its biggest player," 29 Dec. 2018 The commission would be tasked with making sure that federal agencies are all enforcing immigration laws humanely and constitutionally, documenting any ICE abuses and making a report of its recommendations to Congress. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "House Democrats introduce bill to abolish ICE, create 'humane' immigration system," 12 July 2018 In other cases, homeowners ignore the requirement to buy insurance—and the government does little to enforce the mandate. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Climate change and the coming coastal real estate crash," 16 Oct. 2018 Critics and ethicists say the scandal is just the latest example of a prominent researcher flouting disclosure rules and medical journals and organizations weakly enforcing them. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Top cancer expert forgot to mention $3.5M industry ties—he just resigned," 14 Sep. 2018 In addition to stripping the clauses from existing franchise contracts in Washington, the seven chains have also vowed not to enforce them nationwide. Rachel Abrams, New York Times, "7 Fast-Food Chains to End ‘No Poach’ Deals That Lock Down Low-Wage Workers," 12 July 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

20 Mar 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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