English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English enforcen, from Old French enforcier, from Late Latin infortiāre, from in- + fortis (strong).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

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

  1. To keep up, impose or bring into effect something, not necessarily by force. [from 17th c.]
    The police are there to enforce the law.
    • 1929, Chiang Kai-shek, quoted in “Nationalist Notes,” Time, 11 February, 1929,[1]
      Our task is only half finished. It will be my duty to enforce the decisions of the conference and I hereby pledge myself to that end.
    • 2013 September 8, “The pulpit should be free of politics”, in Los Angeles Times:
      Far from needing to be repealed, the ban on politics in the pulpit ought to be enforced more aggressively.
  2. 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.
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To strengthen (a castle, town etc.) with extra troops, fortifications etc. [14th–18th c.]
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To intensify, make stronger, add force to. [14th–18th c.]
  5. (obsolete, reflexive) To exert oneself, to try hard. [14th–17th c.]
  6. (obsolete) To compel, oblige (someone or something); to force. [from 16th c.]
    • 1594 (first publication), Christopher Marlow[e], The Troublesome Raigne and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England: [], London: [] [Eliot’s Court Press] for Henry Bell, [], published 1622, →OCLC, (please specify the page):
      Sweete prince I come, these these thy amorous lines, / Might haue enforst me to haue swum from France, / And like Leander gaspt vpon the sande, / So thou wouldst smile and take me in thy armes.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition I, section 2, member 4, subsection iv:
      Uladislaus the Second, King of Poland, and Peter Dunnius, Earl of Shrine [] had been hunting late, and were enforced to lodge in a poor cottage.
    • 1899, E. OE. Somerville, Martin Ross, Some Experiences of an Irish R.M., Great Uncle McCarthy:
      In a few minutes I was stealthily groping my way down my own staircase, with a box of matches in my hand, enforced by scientific curiosity, but none the less armed with a stick.
  7. (obsolete) To make or gain by force; to force.
    to enforce a passage
  8. (obsolete) To put in motion or action by violence; to drive.
  9. (obsolete) To give force to; to strengthen; to invigorate; to urge with energy.
    to enforce arguments or requests
  10. (obsolete) To urge; to ply hard; to lay much stress upon.
    • c. 1608–1609 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii]:
      In this point charge him home, that he affects / Tyrannical power: 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.
  11. (obsolete) To prove; to evince.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 enforce”, in Cambridge English Dictionary, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press, 1999–present. (has "US /ɪnˈfɔːrs/, UK /ɪnˈfɔːs/")
  2. ^ enforce”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  3. ^ enforce”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.

Anagrams edit