Definition of enact in English:



[with object]
  • 1Make (a bill or other proposal) law.

    ‘legislation was enacted to attract international companies’
    • ‘We should remember that no other group of citizens is consulted before measures are enacted to prevent illegal activity.’
    • ‘They serve to impose what could never be legislatively enacted.’
    • ‘The statute was enacted pursuant to Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce.’
    • ‘Congress recently enacted sweeping anti-terrorism legislation which expanded law enforcement powers, and outlawed biological materials.’
    • ‘Statutory rape laws were first enacted to protect minors from older predators.’
    • ‘Remember, there has been no significant piece of reformist legislation enacted into law for nearly 30 years.’
    • ‘Accordingly, she filed suit in federal court under the newly enacted Violence Against Women Act.’
    • ‘After Virginia legislators enacted that colony's first comprehensive slave code in 1705, internal rather than outside influences predominated.’
    • ‘In the United States, several states have already enacted genetic privacy laws.’
    • ‘Hunted for its pelt, the lynx declined until protective legislation was enacted in the 1970s.’
    • ‘Rather, Parliament was enacting legislation in which a number of classes of persons have significant interests.’
    • ‘Several judges have thrown out democratically enacted term limits.’
    • ‘The legislative framework: under the 1992 legislation as originally enacted.’
    • ‘Adequate legislation should be enacted to ensure curbing of illegal activities in the forests.’
    • ‘Some states have enacted statutes requiring mandatory reporting, civil and criminal penalties and emergency interventions.’
    • ‘Parliament has not expressly enacted what standard of proof shall be applied on an application for a sex offender order.’
    • ‘And at the same time, several German states have already enacted the proposed French style bans on student attire.’
    • ‘Under your watch, laws eradicating civil liberties have been enacted which put into question the rights of citizens.’
    • ‘The Brazilian government had recently enacted economic reforms that included a stabilized currency.’
    • ‘The proposed law - expected to be enacted in July - also would compel companies to prevent workplace bad behavior.’
    • ‘Congress enacted the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972 to protect dolphins from the effects of purse seine tuna fishing.’
    make law, pass, approve, ratify, validate, sanction, authorize, accept, give the seal of approval to
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  • 2Put into practice (an idea or suggestion)

    ‘the pressure group's aim was to see the proposals enacted’
    • ‘It is not clear if Bremer formally enacted her recommendations or not.’
    • ‘The French Revolution was an attempt to enact his ideas.’
    • ‘If the Law Commission's recommendations are enacted they will remove some of the worst anomalies that currently bedevil the law on recovery for negligently inflicted psychiatric damage.’
    • ‘The National Security Adviser joined the President at the ranch to discuss enacting recommendations that could be implemented immediately by executive order.’
    • ‘Whereas a legislator must check his impulse to enact his religious precepts into law, an executive official faces a somewhat different problem.’
    • ‘He had urged the immediate creation of the national intelligence post and promised that if elected he would enact the commission's recommendations by executive fiat.’
    • ‘Lumber company and government employees were more likely to enact recommendations that were convenient and cheap.’
    • ‘The commission's recommendations, if enacted, could prove critical to safeguarding the US.’
    • ‘We needed time to enact the recommendations of the royal commission.’
    • ‘He later challenged him to commit to enacting the recommendations of the report during his term as president.’
    • ‘Because real people formulate and enact political ideas, it is often easy to locate the supposed evil of a given idea in its human agent.’
    • ‘And more measures must be enacted to ensure doctors and surgeons are not severely overworked.’
    • ‘Some items ask respondents about the ethical beliefs of their partners, regardless of whether the beliefs are behaviourally enacted or not.’
    • ‘Without understanding why, she allowed herself to enact the strange thought.’
    • ‘We hope the proposed improvements will be enacted during the current session of the Diet.’
    • ‘We may still, as a rule, like to believe in marriage, but the reality is that we are increasingly choosing not to enact that belief.’
    • ‘Most of the committee's recommendations were enacted.’
  • 3Act out (a role or play) on stage.

    ‘Mystery Plays were staged and enacted by members of the guilds’
    • ‘Travelling drama groups visited different communities to enact short plays about gender violence.’
    • ‘Once the moment has been enacted on stage, it can never come back.’
    • ‘Thus, she argues, Plath's poems enact a theatrical performance rather than a sincere expression of mourning.’
    • ‘When the children performed, enacting the various plays on stage, their disability was hardly on their mind.’
    • ‘The baddie roles are enacted by Rob and Budd, professional stage actors from Hollywood.’
    • ‘Yet scandal in the colonies was also enacted on the global stage of British imperialism.’
    • ‘The actress enacts the role of Helen, a nun, who helps two children who are ostracised by society after the death of their parents due to AIDS.’
    • ‘Perhaps the dramatist was unwilling to repeat material recently enacted in the True Tragedy.’
    • ‘Damien Matthews enacts the role of the actor in the play and Herford himself plays the part of the lawyer.’
    act out, act, perform, play, appear in, stage, mount, put on, present, do
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    1. 3.1be enacted Take place.
      ‘walkers stopped to watch, aware that some tragedy was being enacted’
      • ‘What terrible tragedies have been enacted over the centuries in this battle between the weak and timid Fly and the cruel and bloodthirsty Spider!’
      • ‘As if that wasn't enough, the drama was enacted against a background of domestic trauma.’


Late Middle English (formerly also as inact): from en-, in-, + act, suggested by medieval Latin inactare, inactitare.