enforce

[en-fawrs, -fohrs]
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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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)
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper