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

Other Words from enforce

enforceability \ in-​ˌfȯr-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce enforce (audio) , en-​ \ noun
enforceable \ in-​ˈfȯr-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce enforce (audio) , en-​ \ adjective
enforcement \ in-​ˈfȯr-​smənt How to pronounce enforce (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 Police and prosecutors in more conservative parts of the state have also hesitated to enforce the state law, which dates at least to 1950, amid questions about its constitutionality. Dan Morse, Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Formed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, ICE was given sweeping powers to fight terrorism and enforce immigration law. Cindy Carcamostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 Frustrated by all the bans that had been blocked by the courts, former Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell developed a novel legal strategy with lawmakers to evade a court challenge: empowering private citizens to enforce the law. Anchorage Daily News, 8 May 2022 At the time, Republican lawmakers said the legislation would allow the state to quickly and easily enforce a similar law should the Supreme Court uphold the 15-week ban. Jennifer Calfas, WSJ, 3 May 2022 In addition, in order to enforce the new law, companies could also avoid pertinent diversity trainings which model inclusivity and increased racial understanding for employees. Amiah Taylor, Fortune, 3 May 2022 In March, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that state medical licensing clinics don't have the authority to enforce the law. Fox News, 29 Apr. 2022 The voting rights groups are currently appealing an earlier decision by Watson that allowed the state to enforce the law. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 15 Apr. 2022 Among the questions in that case is if a municipality can sue to enforce the law rather than the state. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for enforce

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for enforce

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Enforce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enforce. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for enforce


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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on enforce

Nglish: Translation of enforce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enforce for Arabic Speakers


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