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.

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.]

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. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:

    We support the calls of democracy and freedom by the people of Venezuela, i call on President Obama and the State Department to vigorously enforce the sanctions against Venezuelan officials swiftly.

  2. Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena:

    Both departments [HFD and HPD]are working diligently to enforce the spirit of the countys stay-home order, the complaint was resolved via notice of violation as required by the countys order.

  3. Laura Orsi:

    There are so many young girls, parents, and teachers who feel inspired, a lot of my peers are shocked about how far this has all gone, but theyre excited. My school administrators, although they still have to enforce the rules, are on board, OK with us protesting, and just want us to have an educational environment we are safe and happy in.

  4. The Kentucky senator:

    It is hard for me not to use profanity in describing it, we should be using the leverage of the debt ceiling to actually enforce spending restraint.

  5. Cory Booker:

    We need a president that's going to enforce anti-trust laws in this country, and I will be that person.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for enforce

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for enforce »


Find a translation for the enforce definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"enforce." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/enforce>.

Discuss these enforce definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for enforce? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a long narrow excavation in the earth
    • A. ditch
    • B. abandon
    • C. secession
    • D. snap

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for enforce: