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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for enforced
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had no chance, and one time, in enforced retirement from the world, he indelibly inscribed the legend on his forearm.

  • The taboos are turned into laws and are enforced by positive penalties.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • And then, as day began to dawn, I gave up hope, foreseeing a speedy end to the chase and an enforced surrender.

    Humphrey Bold Herbert Strang
  • Rules are accepted from custom and enforced by authority and force.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • They could not be enforced, but were sanctioned by Parliament in 1621.

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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