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

Other Words from enforce

enforceability \ in-​ˌfȯr-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce enforce (audio) , en-​ \ noun
enforceable \ in-​ˈfȯr-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce enforce (audio) , en-​ \ adjective
enforcement \ in-​ˈfȯr-​smənt How to pronounce enforce (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 In Hailey, city rules prohibit R.V.s from parking on private property for more than 30 days, but council members have agreed not to enforce those rules for now; as a result, R.V.s can be seen in driveways and side yards across town. New York Times, 31 July 2022 The decision not to enforce mitigation measures will only prolong the pandemic, Miller said. Arielle Mitropoulos, ABC News, 29 July 2022 The city reached a consent agreement with the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union before a court hearing Thursday not to enforce limitations on timing, lighting and size of political yard signs. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 29 July 2022 The Beverly Hills City Council also voted to not enforce the mask mandate. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 28 July 2022 Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who chairs ASEAN, had previously urged Myanmar's military leaders not to enforce the death sentences. Adela Suliman, BostonGlobe.com, 26 July 2022 Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who chairs ASEAN, had previously urged Myanmar’s military leaders not to enforce the death sentences. Adela Suliman, Washington Post, 26 July 2022 The City Council voted unanimously Monday night not to enforce an indoor mask rule, should one materialize. Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 More progressive local prosecutors choosing not to enforce more conservative G O P state house backed laws in the past couple years. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 11 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for enforce

Time Traveler

The first known use of enforce was in the 14th century

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Statistics for enforce

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Enforce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enforce. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for enforce


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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on enforce

Nglish: Translation of enforce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enforce for Arabic Speakers


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