9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[en-fawrs, -fohrs] /ɛnˈfɔrs, -ˈfoʊrs/
verb (used with object), enforced, enforcing.
to put or keep in force; compel obedience to:
to enforce a rule; Traffic laws will be strictly enforced.
to obtain (payment, obedience, etc.) by force or compulsion.
to impose (a course of action) upon a person:
The doctor enforced a strict dietary regimen.
to support (a demand, claim, etc.) by force:
to enforce one's rights as a citizen.
to impress or urge (an argument, contention, etc.) forcibly; lay stress upon:
He enforced his argument by adding details.
Origin of enforce
1275-1325; Middle English enforcen < Anglo-French enforcer, Old French enforcier, enforc(ir), equivalent to en- en-1 + forci(e)r to force
Related forms
enforceable, adjective
enforceability, noun
[en-fawr-sid-lee, -fohr-] /ɛnˈfɔr sɪd li, -ˈfoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
enforcer, noun
enforcive, adjective
half-enforced, adjective
nonenforceable, adjective
nonenforced, adjective
nonenforcedly, adverb
nonenforcing, adjective
preenforce, verb (used with object), preenforced, preenforcing.
quasi-enforced, adjective
unenforceability, noun
unenforceable, adjective
unenforced, adjective
unenforcedly, adverb
well-enforced, adjective
1. administer, impose, execute, apply. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for enforce
  • But the rule permits so many exceptions that it is nearly impossible to enforce.
  • The other big question is how the city plans to enforce the new rule.
  • Several county sheriffs, who will have to enforce parts of the new law, have filed affidavits supporting the legal challenges.
  • In addition, fisheries agencies will have to set tough quotas and enforce them.
  • Local officials now have flexibility to enforce the policy as they see fit.
  • It's also likely that taxation would be impossible to enforce.
  • Closing the form for responses is needed to enforce this.
  • Animal-welfare groups argue that a better way to prevent rabies would be to enforce inoculation of animals against the disease.
  • Over the years, the island city has tried to enforce various restrictions on the annual celebration.
  • Elections are the surest option for the people to enforce their will and express their collective vision for their country.
British Dictionary definitions for enforce


verb (transitive)
to ensure observance of or obedience to (a law, decision, etc)
to impose (obedience, loyalty, etc) by or as by force
to emphasize or reinforce (an argument, demand, etc)
Derived Forms
enforceable, adjective
enforceability, noun
enforcedly (ɪnˈfɔːsɪdlɪ) adverb
enforcement, noun
enforcer, 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
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Word Origin and History for enforce

early 14c., "to drive by physical force;" mid-14c., "make an effort; strengthen a place; compel," from Old French enforcier or from en- (1) "make, put in" + force. Related: Enforced; enforcing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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