enter

1 of 2

verb

en·​ter ˈen-tər How to pronounce enter (audio)
entered; entering ˈen-t(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce enter (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to go or come in
2
: to come or gain admission into a group : join
often used with into
3
a
: to make a beginning
entering upon a career
b
: to begin to consider a subject
usually used with into or upon
4
: to go upon land for the purpose of taking possession
5
a
: to come onstage
usually used in the subjunctive as a stage direction
enter Hamlet reading
b
: to come into a preestablished situation or context like an actor coming onstage
usually used in the subjunctive
enter the new principal with her radical ideas
6
: to play a part : be a factor
other considerations enter when money is involved

transitive verb

1
: to come or go into
enter a room
2
: inscribe, register
enter the names of qualified voters
3
: to cause to be received or admitted
enter a child at a school
4
: to put in : insert
enter the new data into the computer
5
a
: to make a beginning in
enter politics
b
: to go into (a particular period of time)
enter middle age
6
: to become a member of or an active participant in
enter the university
enter a race
7
: to make report of (a ship or its cargo) to customs authorities
8
: to place in proper form before a court of law or upon record
enter a writ
9
: to go into or upon and take actual possession of (something, such as land)
10
: to put formally on record
entering a complaint
enterable adjective

enter-

2 of 2

combining form

variants or entero-
: intestine
enteritis
Phrases
enter into
1
: to make oneself a party to or in
enter into an agreement
2
: to form or be part of
your prejudices shouldn't enter into it
3
: to participate or share in
enter into the spirit of the occasion
enter the lists
: to engage in a fight or struggle
Choose the Right Synonym for enter

enter, penetrate, pierce, probe mean to make way into something.

enter is the most general of these and may imply either going in or forcing a way in.

entered the city in triumph

penetrate carries a strong implication of an impelling force or compelling power that achieves entrance.

the enemy penetrated the fortress

pierce means an entering or cutting through with a sharp pointed instrument.

pierced the boil with a lancet

probe implies penetration to investigate or explore something hidden from sight or knowledge.

probed the depths of the sea

Example Sentences

Verb Knock on the door before you enter the room. The medication will quickly enter the blood stream. The river enters the sea near here. Our son will be entering college next year. enter a child in kindergarten The new battleship is scheduled to enter service next spring. an actor who's just now entering his prime The strike has now entered its second week. We've entered a new phase in our relationship. The country is entering a period of prosperity. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
In April 1889, the U.S. government created a starting time for settlers to enter central Oklahoma and stake their claim to the land. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 29 Jan. 2023 Kirby Elementary District 140 in Tinley Park plans focus groups, including interviews with current and former students, parents, teachers and community members, in part to assess how prepared students are to enter high school. Mike Nolan, Chicago Tribune, 29 Jan. 2023 This begins in parking lots with rows of cars softened by trees and other greenery, and sidewalks that lead to gravel paths that enter garden spaces and courtyards tucked between buildings. Dirk Sutro, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Jan. 2023 Foreign nationals must be vaccinated against COVID to enter the United States. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2023 He is projected by ESPN to enter the 2023 NFL draft. Heather Hunter, Washington Examiner, 29 Jan. 2023 Career opportunities will have to be a priority as more community health workers enter the field and get certified, according to Anna Huff Davis, chair for the Arkansas Community Health Worker Association Board of Directors. Garrett Moore, Arkansas Online, 28 Jan. 2023 You’re not required to enter a specific FanDuel promo code. Catena Media, oregonlive, 28 Jan. 2023 The Panthers wouldn’t let the Bruins enter the zone easily, or set up east-west passes. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English entren, from Anglo-French entrer, from Latin intrare, from intra within; akin to Latin inter between — more at inter-

Combining form

Greek, from enteron — more at inter-

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3a

Time Traveler
The first known use of enter was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near enter

Cite this Entry

“Enter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enter. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

enter

verb
en·​ter ˈent-ər How to pronounce enter (audio)
entered; entering ˈent-ə-riŋ How to pronounce enter (audio)
ˈen-triŋ
1
: to go or come in or into
enter a room
2
: penetrate sense 1b, pierce
the needle enters the skin at an angle
3
: to cause to be admitted to : enroll
enter a child in kindergarten
4
a
: to become a member of
b
: to take part in : join
enter a race
enter into a discussion
5
: to make a beginning
enter into business
6
: to take possession
entered upon their inheritance
7
a
: to set down in a book or list
entered my name on the roster
b
: to put in or into : insert
enter data into the computer program
8
: to place formally before a legal authority (as a court)
enter a complaint
enterable
ˈent-ə-rə-bəl How to pronounce enter (audio)
ˈen-trə-
adjective

Legal Definition

enter

intransitive verb
en·​ter
: to go or come in
specifically : to go upon real property by right of entry especially to take possession
lessor shall have the right to enter and take possession
often used in deeds and leases

transitive verb

1
: to come or go into
he breaks into and enters a vehicleCode of Alabama
see also break, breaking and entering
2
3
: to put in correct form before a court or on a record
entered judgment against the defendant
entering a plea
compare render
4
: to go upon (real property) by right of entry especially to take possession
if the lessee defaults, the lessor may enter the premises
compare distrain
enterable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on enter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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