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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.
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 enforced
  • The law must be enforced, and the guilty tried and punished.
  • It amounts to a predatory system of obligation, set down in no laws, enforced by implied threat.
  • The drug companies argued that there would be no incentive for research and development if patents were not enforced.
  • The enforced downtime allows you to savor the experience-and the culture of people who live there.
  • Opponents to this approach argue that targets need to be internationally binding and enforced.
  • If properly enforced, protective laws can make a dent.
  • Such trade in animals is a longstanding practice that is technically illegal but quite loosely enforced.
  • Theirs is a life of isolation, strictly enforced by the weather.
  • They dug up through a soft spot in the ceiling and enforced and camouflaged a hatch so farmers wouldn't find it or fall through.
  • It's clear that in many countries environmental laws are not enforced and pits have been left standing.
British Dictionary definitions for enforced


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 enforced



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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