[ en-ter ]
See synonyms for: enterenteredenteringenterable on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to come or go in: Knock before you enter.

  2. to be admitted into a school, competition, etc.: Some contestants enter as late as a day before the race.

  1. to make a beginning (often followed by on or upon): We have entered upon a new phase in history.

  2. 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)
  1. to come or go into: He just entered the building. The thought never entered my mind.

  2. to penetrate or pierce: The bullet entered the flesh.

  1. to put in or insert.

  2. to become a member of; join: to enter a club.

  3. to cause to be admitted, as into a school, competition, etc.: to enter a horse in a race.

  4. to make a beginning of or in, or begin upon; engage or become involved in: He entered the medical profession.

  5. 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.

  6. to make a record of; record or register: to enter a new word in a dictionary.

  7. Law.

    • to make a formal record of (a fact).

    • to occupy or to take possession of (lands); make an entrance, entry, ingress in, under claim of a right to possession.

    • to file an application for (public lands).

  8. Computers. to put (a document, program, data, etc.) into a computer system: Enter your new document into the word-processing system.

  9. to put forward, submit, or register formally: to enter an objection to a proposed action; to enter a bid for a contract.

  10. to report (a ship, cargo, etc.) at the custom house.

Verb Phrases
  1. enter into,

    • to participate in; engage in.

    • to investigate; consider: We will enter into the question of inherited characteristics at a future time.

    • to sympathize with; share in.

    • to form a constituent part or ingredient of: There is another factor that enters into the situation.

    • to go into a particular state: to enter into a state of suspended animation.

Origin of enter

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English entren, from Old French entrer, from Latin intrāre “to enter,” from intrāintra-

Opposites for enter

Other words from enter

  • en·ter·a·ble, adjective
  • en·ter·er, noun
  • pre·en·ter, verb (used without object)
  • un·en·ter·a·ble, adjective
  • un·en·tered, adjective
  • well-entered, adjective

Words that may be confused with enter

Other definitions for enter- (2 of 2)


  1. variant of entero- before a vowel: enteritis.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use enter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for enter


/ (ˈɛntə) /

  1. to come or go into (a place, house, etc)

  2. to penetrate or pierce

  1. (tr) to introduce or insert

  2. to join (a party, organization, etc)

  3. (when intr, foll by into) to become involved or take part (in): to enter a game; to enter into an agreement

  4. (tr) to record (an item such as a commercial transaction) in a journal, account, register, etc

  5. (tr) to record (a name, etc) on a list

  6. (tr) to present or submit: to enter a proposal

  7. (intr) theatre to come on stage: used as a stage direction: enter Juliet

  8. (when intr, often foll by into, on, or upon) to begin; start: to enter upon a new career

  9. (intr often foll by upon) to come into possession (of)

  10. (tr) to place (evidence, a plea, etc) before a court of law or upon the court records

  11. (tr) law

    • to go onto and occupy (land)

    • mainly US to file a claim to (public lands)

Origin of enter

C13: from Old French entrer, from Latin intrāre to go in, from intrā within

Derived forms of enter

  • enterable, adjective
  • enterer, 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