Definition of enter in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛntə/


[with object]
1Come or go into (a place): she entered the kitchen [no object]: the door opened and Karl entered
More example sentences
  • To enter into dialogue with a culture that does not possess the ontological security of majority cultures is to enter a representational space of intimacy.
  • We entered the City at the original site of Temple Bar and descended Fleet Street, now a mere shadow of its former journalistic self.
  • As planned, Buddha enters the City to attend a feast.
go in/into, come in/into, get in/into, set foot in, cross the threshold of, pass into, move into, gain access to, be admitted to, make/effect an entrance into, break into, burst into, irrupt into, intrude into, invade, infiltrate
1.1 [no object] Used as a stage direction to indicate when a character comes on stage: enter Hamlet
More example sentences
  • As they exit from the stage, enter three beautiful women from Ukraine, dressed in vibrant costumes.
1.2Come or be introduced into: the thought never entered my head
1.3Penetrate (something): the bullet entered his stomach
penetrate, pierce, puncture, perforate, make a hole in, make a wound in;
impale, stick, spike, stab, spear, skewer, run through, transfix
rare transpierce
1.4(Of a man) insert the penis into the vagina of (a woman): then he entered her, harsh in his passion
2Begin to be involved in: in 1941 America entered the war
More example sentences
  • In the last surviving section, the betrothed is introduced to and enters her new Byzantine family.
  • The national interest analysis notes some of the disadvantages to New Zealand in entering a closer economic partnership with Thailand.
join (in), get involved in, go in for, throw oneself into, engage in, embark on, venture into/on, launch into, plunge into, undertake, take up;
participate in, take part in, share in, play a part in, play a role in, be a participant in, partake in, contribute to, be associated with, associate oneself with, have a hand in, have something to do with, be (a) party to;
cooperate in, help with, assist with, lend a hand with
informal get in on the act, pitch in with
2.1Become a member of or start working in (an institution or profession): he entered the army as a cadet
More example sentences
  • Following this he became a Schools Inspector, entering at this stage the same profession as that of his father.
  • The condition he has was discovered while he was a teenager and had been treated and noted before he entered Yale.
  • Suggest a book for someone considering entering the Catholic Church.
join, become a member of, enrol in/for, enlist in, volunteer for, sign up for, take up, become connected/associated with, commit oneself to
2.2Register as a competitor or participant in a tournament, race, or examination: they won every race they entered the horse was entered in the Martell Cup at Aintree
More example sentences
  • Nevertheless, success in the Islamic Games' tennis and entering the World Group play-offs are the landmarks of our national tennis.
  • I am working towards entering the City of Glasgow Great Scottish Run on September 8.
  • Luxembourg have entered the World Cup 15 times and finished bottom of their qualifying group every time.
go in for, put one's name down for, register for, enrol for, sign on/up for, become a competitor in, become a contestant in, obtain/gain entrance to;
compete in, take part in, participate in, be a competitor in, be a contestant in, play in
informal throw one's hat in the ring, be in the running
2.3Start or reach (a stage or period of time) in an activity or situation: the election campaign entered its final phase
More example sentences
  • It is expected to transform every life stage it enters.
  • He also noted that the party is entering its 20th year in existence on December 21.
2.4 [no object] (Of a particular performer in an ensemble) start or resume playing or singing.
3Write or key (information) in a book, computer, etc. children can enter the data into the computer
More example sentences
  • Secondly, you can deliberately enter information about yourself into a digital profile.
  • So when you enter your information, it's going to a criminal somewhere in the Internet, who's taking that data and using it for financial crime.
  • Users can use it to enter information about themselves on any web site without having to type it in manually every time.
record, write down, set down, put in writing, put down, take down, note, make a note of, jot down, put down on paper, commit to paper;
document, put on record, minute, register, chronicle, file, put on file, chart, docket, log;
list, catalogue, make an inventory of
rare diarize
4 Law Submit (a statement) in an official capacity: a solicitor entered a plea of guilty on her behalf
More example sentences
  • In nearly all cases, the defendant enters a guilty plea before trial.
  • During a hearing on Monday, his solicitor entered no plea and made no application for bail.
  • She too had been given an indication that upon such pleas being entered, the prosecution would not proceed further against her husband.
submit, register, lodge, put on record, record, table, file, put forward, place, advance, lay, present, press, prefer, tender, offer, proffer


(also enter key) A key on a computer keyboard which is used to perform various functions, such as executing a command or selecting options on a menu.
Example sentences
  • The games are rather shallow and require only the use of the four arrow keys and the enter key on your keyboard, or a couple of buttons on your controller.
  • The main problems for me personally were the backspace key and the enter key.
  • She hit the enter key to the shield computer, running the program she had kept quiet about.



enter someone's head (or mind)

(Of a thought or idea) occur to someone: the thought never entered my head!
More example sentences
  • For a good while longer, I was disgusted with myself that the idea even entered my mind.
  • Once an idea like that entered my mind, there wasn't a reasonable fact you could throw at me that would get me to stop worrying.
  • ‘My darling,’ said he, ‘I beg of you, for my sake and for our child's sake, as well as for your own, that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind!

enter into force

Come into effect: the treaty entered into force in 1975
More example sentences
  • It will have jurisdiction only over crimes committed after the treaty enters into force.
  • Reaching it does not mean that the Treaty enters into force, as some would have liked.
  • The two new treaties entered into force on 1 January 1958.

enter into the spirit of something

Begin to enjoy and feel part of a lively event or atmosphere: people entered into the spirit of the occasion
More example sentences
  • Thank you to everyone for entering into the spirit of this event which marked the 10th year of this festival.
  • ‘Everyone entered into the spirit of the event and sang the carols with enthusiasm,’ he said.
  • She added: ‘We're asking people to enter into the spirit of the event by dressing up as their favourite detective, historian or clairvoyant.’

enter someone's life

(Of a person or thing) start to play a significant part in someone’s existence: Shiona had been sixteen when Jake entered her life
More example sentences
  • It isn't until she enters his life that he is able to discover his own talent.
  • But a 10-year-old boy enters her life, saying he's the reincarnation of her ex-husband.
  • But I have come to a conclusion about our fear and what we must do about it, and in part, this revelation entered my life just the other day.

Phrasal verbs


enter into

Become involved in (an activity or situation): they have entered into a relationship
More example sentences
  • Remember we entered into this activity with the support of 30 other nations.
  • The high cost of fuel should not be an excuse to take advantage of the situation and enter into a speculative price frenzy.
  • Whenever a researcher enters into a secretive situation such as commercial-in-confidence research or military research, they effectively disappear from view.
1.1Undertake to bind oneself by (an agreement or other commitment): the council entered into an agreement with a private firm
More example sentences
  • One aspect of the post-Cancun phase is that agreements entered into there are binding in law at every level of government.
  • Cohabiting couples have not publicly entered into legally binding agreements.
  • People need to be reminded that not too long ago, married women did not have the right to own land, or the right to enter into binding legal agreements.
1.2Form part of or be a factor in: medical ethics also enter into the question
More example sentences
  • Well, it appears that there are a number of factors that are entering into this.
  • There are all kinds of subjective factors that enter into it.
  • Certain extraneous factors deserve to enter into selection of a name.

enter on/upon

1 formal Begin (an activity or job); start to pursue (a particular course in life): he entered upon a turbulent political career
More example sentences
  • Here, as before, the stress seems to be upon personal dedication, the manner and frame of mind in which a certain course is entered upon and sustained.
  • The government has entered on a collision course with the education community over its new law to reform the university system.
  • It was also intended to build an Institute to ‘benefit those who are older in years or who have sufficient energy to enter upon a course of self-improvement’.
2 Law (As a legal entitlement) go freely into (property) as or as if the owner: the tenant shall have licence to enter upon the premises
More example sentences
  • The position of my client was that he deliberately did not terminate the lease so as to ensure she had a legal capacity to enter upon the land.
  • It prohibits the appellant from entering on the property of the specified persons for any reason whatsoever.
  • In addition, these minutes permitted the plaintiff to enter upon their property, at the lakefront, from time to time, for the purpose of painting, sketching and drawing the landscape.


Middle English: from Old French entrer, from Latin intrare, from intra 'within'.

Words that rhyme with enter

assenter, cementer, centre (US center), concentre (US concenter), dissenter, eventer, fermenter (US fermentor), fomenter, frequenter, inventor, lamenter, magenta, placenta, polenta, precentor, presenter, preventer, repenter, tenter, tormentor

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: enter

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