What does enforce mean?

Definitions for enforce
ɛnˈfɔrs, -ˈfoʊrsen·force

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word enforce.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. enforce, implement, applyverb

    ensure observance of laws and rules

    "Apply the rules to everyone";

  2. enforce, imposeverb

    compel to behave in a certain way

    "Social relations impose courtesy"


  1. enforceverb

    To strengthen (a castle, town etc.) with extra troops, fortifications etc.

  2. enforceverb

    To intensify, make stronger, add force to.

  3. enforceverb

    To exert oneself, to try hard.

  4. enforceverb

    To give strength or force to; to affirm, to emphasize.

    The victim was able to enforce his evidence against the alleged perpetrator.

  5. enforceverb

    To compel, oblige (someone or something); to force.

  6. enforceverb

    To keep up, impose or bring into effect something, not necessarily by force.

    The police are there to enforce the law.

  7. Etymology: From enforcier, from infortiare, from in- + fortis.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Enforcenoun

    Power; strength.

    Etymology: from force.

    He now defies thee thrice to single fight,
    As a petty enterprise of small enforce. John Milton, Agonistes.

  2. To Enforceverb

    Etymology: enforcir, French.

    The idle stroke, enforcing furious way,
    Missing the mark of his misaimed sight,
    Did fall to ground. Fairy Queen, b. i. cant.
    8. stan. 8.

    Sker away as swift as stones
    Enforced from the old Assyrian slings. William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    Fear gave her wings, and rage enforc’d my flight
    Through woods and plains. Fairy Queen, b. ii. cant. 4.

    If you knew to whom you shew this honour,
    I know you would be prouder of the work,
    Than customary bounty can enforce you. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Ven.

    Let them assemble;
    And, on a safer judgment, all revoke
    Your ignorant election; enforce his pride,
    And his old hate to you. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    He prevailed with him, by enforcing the ill consequence of his refusal to take the office, which would be interpreted to his dislike of the court. Edward Hyde.

    To avoid all appearance of disaffection, I have taken care to enforce loyalty by an invincible argument. Jonathan Swift.

    For competence of life I will allow you,
    That lack of means enforce you not to evil. William Shakespeare, H. IV.

    A just disdain conceived by that queen, that so wicked a rebel should prevail against her, did move and almost enforce her to send over that mighty army. John Davies, on Ireland.

    In this point charge him home, that he affects
    Tyrannick pow’r: if he evade us there,
    Enforce him with his envy to the people,
    And that the spoil got on the Antiates
    Was ne’er distributed. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

  3. To Enforceverb

    To prove; to evince; to shew beyond contradiction.

    Which laws in such case we must obey, unless there be reason shewed, which may necessarily enforce that the law of reason, or of God, doth enjoin the contrary. Richard Hooker, b. i.


  1. enforce

    Enforcement is the process of ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, rules, standards, or social norms.


  1. enforce

    To enforce means to make sure that rules or laws are obeyed; to execute or apply a rule, decision, or law authoritatively or strictly; or to put or keep in effect. It can also refer to compelling obedience to a policy, guidelines, or standards.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Enforceverb

    to put force upon; to force; to constrain; to compel; as, to enforce obedience to commands

  2. Enforceverb

    to make or gain by force; to obtain by force; as, to enforce a passage

  3. Enforceverb

    to put in motion or action by violence; to drive

  4. Enforceverb

    to give force to; to strengthen; to invigorate; to urge with energy; as, to enforce arguments or requests

  5. Enforceverb

    to put in force; to cause to take effect; to give effect to; to execute with vigor; as, to enforce the laws

  6. Enforceverb

    to urge; to ply hard; to lay much stress upon

  7. Enforceverb

    to attempt by force

  8. Enforceverb

    to prove; to evince

  9. Enforceverb

    to strengthen; to grow strong

  10. Enforcenoun

    force; strength; power

  11. Etymology: [OF. enforcier to strengthen, force, F. enforcir; pref. en- (L. in) + F. force. See Force.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Enforce

    en-fōrs′, v.t. to gain by force: to give force to: to put in force: to give effect to: to urge: (Spens.) to attempt.—adj. Enforce′able.—adv. Enforc′edly, by violence, not by choice.—n. Enforce′ment, act of enforcing: compulsion: a giving effect to: that which enforces. [O. Fr. enforceren (=L. in), and force.]

Editors Contribution

  1. enforceverb

    A unit of measurement equal to a field officer strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement in authority. 1.) Compel observance of or compliance with a law, rule, or obligation. Cause something to happen by necessity or force.

    The Most High enforce the natural law creations against false statues.

    Etymology: Reveal Elyon Scriptures

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on March 1, 2024  

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'enforce' in Verbs Frequency: #720

How to pronounce enforce?

How to say enforce in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of enforce in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of enforce in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of enforce in a Sentence

  1. Clint Krislov:

    We're pleased we will be able to go forward to enforce the lifetime benefits these wonderful people earned.

  2. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly:

    You can't pick and choose the laws that you obey, and I can't pick and choose the laws that we're by law required to enforce. ... We had a court order to remove her and we did.

  3. Democratic House manager Adam Schiff:

    In the category of you can't make this stuff up, the judge says if the Congress can't enforce its subpoenas in court, then what remedy is there ? And the Justice Department and Commerce Department lawyer's response is impeachment.

  4. Scott Walker on Sunday:

    Well, I said the law is there. And we need to enforce the laws, including those that are in the Constitution.

  5. Zipporah Collins:

    Thank you. I enforce Mario to continue to do his work, when he is sleeping, get up do your work. When he watching Netflix, get up do your work. Try to get to school on time. Get off the phone. Get off FaceTime. Yeah. Just keep redirecting.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for enforce

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"enforce." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/enforce>.

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    the work of inquiring into something thoroughly and systematically
    A nuisance
    B relocation
    C abdomen
    D investigating

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