Definition of enforce in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfɔːs/
Pronunciation: /ɛnˈfɔːs/


[with object]
1Compel observance of or compliance with (a law, rule, or obligation): the role of the police is to enforce the law
More example sentences
  • Damages were being sought for compensation as a result of the council's negligent advice and not primarily to enforce a public law right.
  • And how the Supreme Court decides them will be a telling indicator of its commitment to enforcing the rule of law.
  • The letter then went on to give instances in which the government authorities enforced the rule of law.
impose, apply, carry out, administer, implement, bring to bear, discharge, fulfil, execute, prosecute
rare effectuate
force, compel, exact, extort, demand, insist on, require, necessitate
archaic constrain
1.1Cause (something) to happen by necessity or force: there is no outside agency to enforce cooperation between the players
More example sentences
  • It's been a force for enforcing peace.
  • The teenager's death prompted Stanwell residents to join forces to try to enforce a new traffic calming scheme in Long Lane.
  • The good news is that most political forces are willing to enforce the changes.
compulsory, obligatory, mandatory, involuntary, forced, exacted, coerced, imposed, demanded, required, requisite, stipulated, contractual, binding, necessitated, necessary, unavoidable, inescapable, obliged, impelled, constrained, dictated, ordained, prescribed;
French de rigueur
1.2 archaic Press home (a demand or argument): my father spoke like a preacher enforcing a precept of religion
More example sentences
  • The argument only enforced his strong will and I knew he hated me.
  • Nor is it just a question of enforcing one demand.
  • He enforced his argument by adding details.


Middle English (in the senses 'strive' and 'impel by force'; formerly also as inforce): from Old French enforcir, enforcier, based on Latin in- 'in' + fortis 'strong'.

Words that rhyme with enforce

coarse, corse, course, divorce, endorse (US indorse), force, gorse, hoarse, horse, morse, Norse, perforce, reinforce, sauce, source, torse

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: en|force

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