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

Employees are on the front lines of enforcing the rules. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Asking customers not to bring guns into stores is one thing. Enforcing the policy is another," 17 Sep. 2019 Homeless activists had argued that enforcing those rules would dramatically reduce the areas where people could legally sleep under the proposal. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, "Where could homeless people sleep under L.A. plan? Activists take to streets to check," 16 Sep. 2019 Just this week, the Supreme Court allowed the administration to enforce a new rule that will prevent most Central American asylum seekers from seeking refuge in the United States. BostonGlobe.com, "But desperate people will not be deterred.," 14 Sep. 2019 But her chance for a life in the U.S. is now uncertain after the Supreme Court on Wednesday night allowed the Trump Administration to enforce a July rule blocking most migrants waiting in Mexico from seeking asylum in the U.S. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "'A Permanent Limbo State.' Migrants in Mexico Are Running Out of Options After Supreme Court Asylum Decision," 12 Sep. 2019 In addition, the NCAA believes the California measure would violate the federal Commerce Clause and may not withstand a legal challenge; Remy cited a previous case in California in which the state tried to inhibit the NCAA from enforcing its rules. Michael Marot, The Denver Post, "NCAA urges California governor not to sign “fair pay” bill," 11 Sep. 2019 He is concerned, for example, that if it were used to ban masks at protests (the pro-party press is eager for this to be done), the police might not be able to enforce the new rule strictly. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s leader has made a concession to protesters," 5 Sep. 2019 Her recent short film RedefinePretty helps prove how damaging beauty standards can be by examining the brain’s emotional reactions to images of faces that enforce or defy such ideals. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "25 People Changing the Beauty Industry," 3 Sep. 2019 Roche said Bumble understands enforcing the law will be a challenge, but the Texas legislation is intended to serve as a deterrent. Washington Post, "Texas teams with Bumble to crack down on ‘cyber flashing’," 30 Aug. 2019

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

16 Oct 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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