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enforcer

[en-fawr-ser, -fohr-]
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noun
  1. a person or thing that enforces.
  2. the member of a group, especially of a gang, charged with keeping dissident members obedient.
  3. a person, especially a public official, who enforces laws, regulations, rules, or the like.
  4. Also called policeman. Ice Hockey. a physically intimidating or willingly belligerent player who is counted on to retaliate when rough tactics are used by the opposing team.
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Origin of enforcer

First recorded in 1570–80; enforce + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

soldierguerrillaexecutionercriminalassassinperpetratorenforcerauthoritarianbullysticklertyrantdespottaskmasterclipperkillergunbutcherslayerdropperliquidator

Examples from the Web for enforcer

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Yet love of justice is strong, even in the strictest enforcer of discipline—when the enforcer is Anglo-Saxon.

  • The late Miss Clarke has well said “to argue this point would be enforcer une porte ouverte.”

  • As the system develops and our prejudices are abandoned, a method of policing must stand as an enforcer of international law.

  • Stern represser of revolt, and enforcer of the law, was Gloucester himself a defaulter in these respects?


Word Origin and History for enforcer

n.

1570s, agent noun from enforce. Meaning "intimidator" is from 1934, U.S. underworld slang.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper