Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

enforce

[en-fawrs, -fohrs]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), en·forced, en·forc·ing.
  1. to put or keep in force; compel obedience to: to enforce a rule; Traffic laws will be strictly enforced.
  2. to obtain (payment, obedience, etc.) by force or compulsion.
  3. to impose (a course of action) upon a person: The doctor enforced a strict dietary regimen.
  4. to support (a demand, claim, etc.) by force: to enforce one's rights as a citizen.
  5. to impress or urge (an argument, contention, etc.) forcibly; lay stress upon: He enforced his argument by adding details.
Show More

Origin of enforce

1275–1325; Middle English enforcen < Anglo-French enforcer, Old French enforcier, enforc(ir), equivalent to en- en-1 + forci(e)r to force
Related formsen·force·a·ble, adjectiveen·force·a·bil·i·ty, nounen·forc·ed·ly [en-fawr-sid-lee, -fohr-] /ɛnˈfɔr sɪd li, -ˈfoʊr-/, adverben·forc·er, nounen·forc·ive, adjectivehalf-en·forced, adjectivenon·en·force·a·ble, adjectivenon·en·forced, adjectivenon·en·for·ced·ly, adverbnon·en·forc·ing, adjectivepre·en·force, verb (used with object), pre·en·forced, pre·en·forc·ing.qua·si-en·forced, adjectiveun·en·force·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·en·force·a·ble, adjectiveun·en·forced, adjectiveun·en·forc·ed·ly, adverbwell-en·forced, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. administer, impose, execute, apply.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for enforce

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for enforce

enforce

verb (tr)
  1. to ensure observance of or obedience to (a law, decision, etc)
  2. to impose (obedience, loyalty, etc) by or as by force
  3. to emphasize or reinforce (an argument, demand, etc)
Show More
Derived Formsenforceable, adjectiveenforceability, nounenforcedly (ɪnˈfɔːsɪdlɪ), adverbenforcement, nounenforcer, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for enforce

v.

early 14c., "to drive by physical force;" mid-14c., "make an effort; strengthen a place; compel," from Old French enforcier or from en- (1) "make, put in" + force. Related: Enforced; enforcing.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper