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.

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 unenforceable

Historical Examples

  • It is generally held to be unenforceable if the insured suicided while insane.

    Cyclopedia of Commerce, Accountancy, Business Administration, v. 3

    Various

  • The Statute of Frauds does not invalidate a verbal guarantee, but renders it unenforceable by action.

  • But other kinds of illegal contracts are not so obviously wicked as to make it clear that they are unenforceable.

    Commercial Law

    Samuel Williston, Richard D. Currier, and Richard W. Hill

  • Hence, an agreement to sell goods is unenforceable if not supported by consideration.

    Commercial Law

    Samuel Williston, Richard D. Currier, and Richard W. Hill

  • Thus, a son worked for his father on his father's farm under an unenforceable contract with his uncle.


British Dictionary definitions for unenforceable

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)
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 unenforceable

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper