Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of enforce
Meaning of enforce by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Old French enforcier, from Late Latin infortiāre, from in- + fortis ( “strong” ) .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ɪnˈfɔːs/
    • Rhymes: -ɔːs


    enforce ( third-person singular simple present enforces present participle enforcing, simple past and past participle enforced )

    1. ( obsolete, transitive ) To strengthen ( a castle, town etc. ) with extra troops, fortifications etc. [14th-18th c.]
    2. ( obsolete, transitive ) To intensify, make stronger, add force to. [14th-18th c.]
    3. ( obsolete, reflexive ) To exert oneself, to try hard. [14th-17th c.]
    4. To give strength or force to; to affirm, to emphasize. [from 15th c.]
      The victim was able to enforce his evidence against the alleged perpetrator .
    5. ( archaic ) To compel, oblige ( someone or something ); to force. [from 16th c.]
    6. To keep up, impose or bring into effect something, not necessarily by force. [from 17th c.]
      The police are there to enforce the law .

    Derived terms

Explanation of enforce by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. ensure observance of laws and rules

    2. compel to behave in a certain way

    Definition of enforce by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Enforce v. t. [imp. & p. p. Enforced ; p. pr. & vb. n. Enforcing] [OF. enforcier to strengthen, force, F. enforcir; pref. en- ( L. in ) + F. force. See Force.]
      1. To put force upon; to force; to constrain; to compel; as, “to enforce obedience to commands”.

      Inward joy enforced my heart to smile. Shak.

      2. To make or gain by force; to obtain by force; as, “to enforce a passage”. “Enforcing furious way.” Spenser.

      3. To put in motion or action by violence; to drive.

      As swift as stones

      Enforced from the old Assyrian slings. Shak.

      4. To give force to; to strengthen; to invigorate; to urge with energy; as, “to enforce arguments or requests”.

      Enforcing sentiment of the thrust humanity. Burke.

      5. To put in force; to cause to take effect; to give effect to; to execute with vigor; as, “to enforce the laws”.

      6. To urge; to ply hard; to lay much stress upon.

      Enforce him with his envy to the people. Shak.

    2. Enforce v. i.
      1. To attempt by force. [Obs.]

      2. To prove; to evince. [R.] Hooker.

      3. To strengthen; to grow strong. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    3. Enforce, n. Force; strength; power. [Obs.]

      A petty enterprise of small enforce. Milton.