verb en·ter \ ˈen-tər \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

Definition of enter

entered; entering play \ˈen-t(ə-)riŋ\
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
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


play \ˈen-t(ə-)rə-bəl\ adjective
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

Examples of enter in a Sentence

  1. Knock on the door before you enter the room.

  2. The medication will quickly enter the blood stream.

  3. The river enters the sea near here.

  4. Our son will be entering college next year.

  5. enter a child in kindergarten

  6. The new battleship is scheduled to enter service next spring.

  7. an actor who's just now entering his prime

  8. The strike has now entered its second week.

  9. We've entered a new phase in our relationship.

  10. The country is entering a period of prosperity.

Recent Examples of enter from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of enter

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

enter Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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


combining form
variants: or entero-

Definition of enter-

: intestine
  • enteritis

Origin and Etymology of enter-

Greek, from enteron — more at inter-

ENTER Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of enter for English Language Learners

  • : to go or come into (something)

  • : to begin to be in (an organization, school, etc.)

  • : to cause (someone) to be in an organization, school, etc.

ENTER Defined for Kids


verb en·ter \ ˈen-tər \

Definition of enter for Students

entered; entering
1 : to come or go in or into
  • enter a room
  • enter middle age
2 : to stab into : pierce
  • The thorn entered my thumb.
3 : to put into a list or book : write down
  • The teacher entered my name on the roster.
4 : to put in or into
  • Enter the data into the computer.
5 : to become a member of
  • I entered a fitness club.
6 : to become a participant in or take an interest in
  • enter a race
  • enter politics
7 : enroll in : begin attending
  • enter kindergarten

Law Dictionary


intransitive verb en·ter

legal Definition of enter

: 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
1 : to come or go into
  • he breaks into and enters a vehicle
  • Code of Alabama
— see also break, breaking and entering
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


enter into
: to make oneself a party to or in
  • no State shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation
  • U.S. Constitution art. I

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