Definition of enter in English:


Line breaks: enter
Pronunciation: /ˈɛntə


[with object]


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  • (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.
    More 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.
Undertake 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.
Form 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'.

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