en·forc·er | \in-ˈfȯr-sər, en-\

Definition of enforcer 

1 : one that enforces

2a : a violent criminal employed by a crime syndicate especially : hit man sense 1

b : player (as in ice hockey) known for rough play and fighting

Examples of enforcer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In this November’s election, voters will choose between two candidates for governor: DeWine and his predecessor as the state’s top law enforcer, Richard Cordray. James Mcnair, Cincinnati.com, "Mike DeWine contributors get big contracts from Ohio Attorney General's Office," 25 June 2018 Only in rare, principled circumstances may our law enforcers decline to defend and enforce the law. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "On Obamacare, the Department of Justice Is Standing Against the Rule of Law," 8 June 2018 Berlin also wants the IMF, a tough enforcer of economic overhauls in indebted countries, to be part of the post-bailout monitoring. Nektaria Stamouli, WSJ, "Final Greek Bailout Talks Kick Off," 27 Apr. 2018 Means, prosecutors said, was an enforcer for Indianapolis drug dealer, Richard Grundy III. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Alleged Grundy Crew hit man John Means sentenced to six years for gun possession," 13 Apr. 2018 In 1958, Johnny Stompanato, an enforcer for crime boss Mickey Cohen and the boyfriend of actress Lana Turner, was stabbed to death by Turner's teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, who said Stompanato had attacked her mother. azcentral, "AZ Memo: Is ICE arresting activists to silence them? Will Mexico help Trump by halting migrant caravan?," 4 Apr. 2018 Oakley, who was the Knicks’ rugged 6-foot-8-inch enforcer who played alongside Patrick Ewing from 1988 to 1998, was suspected of ‘‘adding to or reducing his wager’’ on a game after the outcome was known. BostonGlobe.com, "US Olympic Committee tabs Sarah Hirshland as its CEO," 13 July 2018 Where Tau can’t go, its squad of nano-drones or its killing-machine enforcer, Aries, can. Jason Kehe, WIRED, "Sci-Fi Invades Netflix—as They Both Invade Your Home," 9 July 2018 The Socceroos’ captain is a midfield enforcer with looks to kill. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "World Cup game times: Messi, Modric square off in Argentina-Croatia, following Denmark-Australia, France-Peru," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enforcer.' 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 enforcer

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enforcer

Statistics for enforcer

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enforcer

The first known use of enforcer was in 1580

See more words from the same year

Comments on enforcer

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


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

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

Dictionary Devil

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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