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[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.
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 enforceable
  • Banning ghostwriting by calling an author an author is straightforward and immediately enforceable.
  • Frankly, you can write a completely enforceable will on a sheet of paper this afternoon.
  • Tenure would never have become widespread in the absence of a system of legally enforceable retirement ages.
  • Rapid response to requests for permission can be more enforceable and less expensive.
  • First on the list was making industry reliability standards mandatory and legally enforceable.
  • They will claim they are, come up with excuses and it wont be enforceable.
  • Violations of immigration law currently are a federal matter, not enforceable by local law-enforcement agencies.
  • Contracts signed by minors are not legally enforceable, putting the hotel at risk if underage patrons do not pay.
  • There are patents for many things that are not enforceable.
  • They have typically done so by redefining economic and social rights as fundamental and legally enforceable.
British Dictionary definitions for enforceable


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 enforceable

1580s, from enforce + -able. Related: Enforceability.



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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