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[en-ter] /ˈɛn tər/
verb (used without object)
to come or go in:
Knock before you enter.
to be admitted into a school, competition, etc.:
Some contestants enter as late as a day before the race.
to make a beginning (often followed by on or upon):
We have entered upon a new phase in history.
Theater. to come upon the stage (used in stage directions as the 3rd person imperative singular or plural):
Enter Othello, and Iago at a distance.
verb (used with object)
to come or go into:
He just entered the building. The thought never entered my mind.
to penetrate or pierce:
The bullet entered the flesh.
to put in or insert.
to become a member of; join:
to enter a club.
to cause to be admitted, as into a school, competition, etc.:
to enter a horse in a race.
to make a beginning of or in, or begin upon; engage or become involved in:
He entered the medical profession.
to share in; have an intuitive understanding of:
In order to appreciate the novel, one must be able to enter the spirit of the work.
to make a record of; record or register:
to enter a new word in a dictionary.
  1. to make a formal record of (a fact).
  2. to occupy or to take possession of (lands); make an entrance, entry, ingress in, under claim of a right to possession.
  3. to file an application for (public lands).
Computers. to put (a document, program, data, etc.) into a computer system:
Enter your new document into the word-processing system.
to put forward, submit, or register formally:
to enter an objection to a proposed action; to enter a bid for a contract.
to report (a ship, cargo, etc.) at the custom house.
Verb phrases
enter into,
  1. to participate in; engage in.
  2. to investigate; consider:
    We will enter into the question of inherited characteristics at a future time.
  3. to sympathize with; share in.
  4. to form a constituent part or ingredient of:
    There is another factor that enters into the situation.
  5. to go into a particular state:
    to enter into a state of suspended animation.
Origin of enter
1200-50; Middle English entren < Old French entrer < Latin intrāre to enter, derivative of intrā within
Related forms
enterable, adjective
enterer, noun
preenter, verb (used without object)
unenterable, adjective
unentered, adjective
well-entered, adjective
Can be confused
enter, inter.
1. leave. 7. remove.


variant of entero- before a vowel:
enteritis. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for enter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Will madame be so good to enter our petit salon at the front, n'est-ce-pas?

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • No one of our kindred must enter the family of Pericles as a slave.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • None but Greeks were allowed to enter the temples of this goddess.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • No woman was allowed to enter Olympia, during the celebration of the games.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • At all events, he was left standing on the doorstone, and no one came to bid him enter.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
British Dictionary definitions for enter


to come or go into (a place, house, etc)
to penetrate or pierce
(transitive) to introduce or insert
to join (a party, organization, etc)
when intr, foll by into. to become involved or take part (in): to enter a game, to enter into an agreement
(transitive) to record (an item such as a commercial transaction) in a journal, account, register, etc
(transitive) to record (a name, etc) on a list
(transitive) to present or submit: to enter a proposal
(intransitive) (theatre) to come on stage: used as a stage direction: enter Juliet
when intr, often foll by into, on, or upon. to begin; start: to enter upon a new career
(intransitive) often foll by upon. to come into possession (of)
(transitive) to place (evidence, a plea, etc) before a court of law or upon the court records
(transitive) (law)
  1. to go onto and occupy (land)
  2. (mainly US) to file a claim to (public lands)
Derived Forms
enterable, adjective
enterer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French entrer, from Latin intrāre to go in, from intrā within
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 enter

late 13c., from Old French entrer, from Latin intrare "to go into, enter" (source of Spanish entrar, Italian entrare), from intra "within," related to inter (prep., adj.) "among, between" (see inter-). Related: Entered; entering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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enter in Medicine

enter- pref.
Variant of entero-.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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