un·​en·​force·​able | \ ˌən-in-ˈfȯr-sə-bəl How to pronounce unenforceable (audio) , -en-\

Definition of unenforceable

: unable to be enforced : not enforceable an unenforceable law/contract

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Examples of unenforceable in a Sentence

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Ostensibly a wartime austerity measure, 20 years later the law appeared so ridiculous as to be unenforceable. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Unenforceable Laws Against Pleasure," 24 Jan. 2019 The council discussed a recent legal decision that makes Measure B (the Downtown Initiative) unenforceable, and then decided to drop its requirement for voter approval of large developments. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "How they voted, July 8," 8 July 2018 Feld wrote: The situation in Florida shows what happens when regulators abandon their responsibilities to protect the public based on unenforceable promises from companies eager to cut costs for maintenance and emergency preparedness. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai killed rules that could have helped Florida recover from hurricane," 18 Oct. 2018 The difference: themeasure lawmakers are moving would be unenforceable if the shift to clean energy is too costly. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "An attempt to 'confuse voters'? Republicans push second clean-energy ballot measure," 27 Mar. 2018 However, many experts believe that clause to be unenforceable, which would allow for state-level neutrality measures like the one adopted by California. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "California strikes deal with FCC to delay state net neutrality law," 26 Oct. 2018 And while airlines have advised passengers not to pack batteries in checked luggage, that falls far short of a ban and is unenforceable. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "No One is Fixing Flying's Fire Problem," 3 Aug. 2018 The United States and other traditional allies had excoriated the Polish government over the law, passed in February, condemning it as largely unenforceable, a threat to free speech, and an act of historical revisionism. Marc Santora, New York Times, "Poland’s Holocaust Law Weakened After ‘Storm and Consternation’," 27 June 2018 The state Senate in January unanimously passed a bill dubbed the NASTY Women Act that would scrap a 19th-century Massachusetts ban on abortions, which lawmakers never formally repealed after the 1973 Roe decision made the ban unenforceable. BostonGlobe.com, "Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, Mass. likely to preserve abortion rights," 28 June 2018

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

1868, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

1 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for unenforceable

The first known use of unenforceable was in 1868

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More Definitions for unenforceable


un·​en·​force·​able | \ ˌən-in-ˈfȯr-sə-bəl\

Legal Definition of unenforceable

: not enforceable in a court

Other Words from unenforceable

unenforceability \ -​ˌfȯr-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun

Comments on unenforceable

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


to boil down or concentrate

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