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[en-fawrs, -fohrs] /ɛnˈfɔrs, -ˈfoʊrs/
verb (used with object), enforced, enforcing.
to put or keep in force; compel obedience to:
to enforce a rule; Traffic laws will be strictly enforced.
to obtain (payment, obedience, etc.) by force or compulsion.
to impose (a course of action) upon a person:
The doctor enforced a strict dietary regimen.
to support (a demand, claim, etc.) by force:
to enforce one's rights as a citizen.
to impress or urge (an argument, contention, etc.) forcibly; lay stress upon:
He enforced his argument by adding details.
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 forms
enforceable, adjective
enforceability, noun
[en-fawr-sid-lee, -fohr-] /ɛnˈfɔr sɪd li, -ˈfoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
enforcer, noun
enforcive, adjective
half-enforced, adjective
nonenforceable, adjective
nonenforced, adjective
nonenforcedly, adverb
nonenforcing, adjective
preenforce, verb (used with object), preenforced, preenforcing.
quasi-enforced, adjective
unenforceability, noun
unenforceable, adjective
unenforced, adjective
unenforcedly, adverb
well-enforced, adjective
1. administer, impose, execute, apply. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for enforced
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • However, in this enforced silence she thought only of him; he was always in her mind.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Certain aspects of enforced Germanization can but afflict all outsiders.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • Now, thought I, shall I have the subject of next Tuesday enforced upon me.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • They enforced their live strength with the power of dead things.

    White Fang Jack London
  • This moment of enforced inactivity was a very difficult one for him.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for enforced


verb (transitive)
to ensure observance of or obedience to (a law, decision, etc)
to impose (obedience, loyalty, etc) by or as by force
to emphasize or reinforce (an argument, demand, etc)
Derived Forms
enforceable, adjective
enforceability, noun
enforcedly (ɪnˈfɔːsɪdlɪ) adverb
enforcement, noun
enforcer, 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
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Word Origin and History for enforced



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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