Definition of enter in English:



  • 1Come or go into (a place)

    [with object] ‘she entered the kitchen’
    [no object] ‘the door opened and Karl entered’
    • ‘The dreams of the younger players were already losing their sparkle just when they were about to enter a World Cup arena for the first time and should be savouring every moment.’
    • ‘For instance, when you tell a story, you may have a character who enters, speaks his lines and then exits.’
    • ‘We entered the City at the original site of Temple Bar and descended Fleet Street, now a mere shadow of its former journalistic self.’
    • ‘It is Shakespeare al fresco and the spectator entering the Globe steps into an environment at once familiar and mysterious, past and present.’
    • ‘I feel butterflies in my belly as I watch William Hutt enter from up stage center greeted by a long round of applause.’
    • ‘Some might even say we are entering the World of the Weird as this is one different-looking sixgun.’
    • ‘When entering the Centre on Sunday, she was in a complete daze and nearly cried when she saw the wanton destruction.’
    • ‘They enter the Centre and are immediately struck by its sense of space and the feeling of being in a cultural retreat, rich and wise.’
    • ‘Get your troops over there, but make sure they don't enter the City or they'll be killed on site.’
    • ‘This was during the visit of the Lady Nelson, under Captain John Murray, the first European vessel to enter Port Phillip Bay.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They entered Room 180 through its double doors and found it filling with smoke.’
    • ‘As planned, Buddha enters the City to attend a feast.’
    • ‘In the short run the number and size of freight vehicles entering the City should be reduced through measures to pool deliveries.’
    • ‘After paying a highly-inflated price for gasoline, I entered the Capital Beltway.’
    • ‘Two giant Haida totem poles have long greeted visitors as they enter the Field Museum.’
    • ‘To enter the City of Manchester stadium, visitors need to buy a swipe card.’
    • ‘The shooting has sparked fears of a retaliatory attack by the victim's friends, who tried to enter the City Hall on Thursday.’
    • ‘Unusually, all the action takes place on one set which gives it a theatrical feel with characters constantly entering and exiting from the wings.’
    • ‘She shook her head, dismissing all thoughts on that matter, as she entered the Town Square.’
    go in, go into, come in, come into, get in, get into, set foot in, cross the threshold of, pass into, move into, gain access to, be admitted to, effect an entrance into, make an entrance into, break into, burst into, irrupt into, intrude into, invade, infiltrate
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    1. 1.1[no object]Used as a stage direction to indicate when a character comes on stage.
      ‘enter Hamlet’
      • ‘As they exit from the stage, enter three beautiful women from Ukraine, dressed in vibrant costumes.’
    2. 1.2Come or be introduced into.
      ‘the thought never entered my head’
    3. 1.3Penetrate (something)
      ‘the bullet entered his stomach’
      penetrate, pierce, puncture, perforate, make a hole in, make a wound in
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    4. 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’
    • ‘The national interest analysis notes some of the disadvantages to New Zealand in entering a closer economic partnership with Thailand.’
    • ‘In the last surviving section, the betrothed is introduced to and enters her new Byzantine family.’
    get involved in, go in for, throw oneself into, engage in, embark on, venture into, venture on, launch into, plunge into, undertake, take up
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    1. 2.1Become a member of or start working in (an institution or profession)
      ‘he entered the army as a cadet’
      • ‘He did doctoral work on testing and develops writing assessments for entering M.I.T. freshmen.’
      • ‘Following this he became a Schools Inspector, entering at this stage the same profession as that of his father.’
      • ‘Suggest a book for someone considering entering the Catholic Church.’
      • ‘The condition he has was discovered while he was a teenager and had been treated and noted before he entered Yale.’
      join, become a member of, enrol for, enrol in, enlist in, volunteer for, sign up for, take up, become associated with, become connected with, commit oneself to
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    2. 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘England didn't enter the World Cup until 1950, whereupon we were immediately instilled as favourites.’
      • ‘In 1995 she entered her first World Games in Manchester, winning two silvers and a bronze.’
      • ‘To top it all off, those of you with a singing voice can enter the Sopranos Karaoke Competition which will begin before the end of the year.’
      • ‘He relied on skill and perseverance to win his way and when he first entered senior County level football he was subject to a lot of hard knocks.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, success in the Islamic Games' tennis and entering the World Group play-offs are the landmarks of our national tennis.’
      • ‘The club's players also formed the backbone of the North Yorkshire sides that entered the Area Cup for county teams across the UK.’
      • ‘Should you wish to enter the World Handwriting Contest next year, please visit their website.’
      • ‘When he entered the World Pizza Games in Las Vegas, he won first place three years running.’
      go in for, put one's name down for, register for, enrol for, sign on for, sign up for, become a competitor in, become a contestant in, gain entrance to, obtain entrance to
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    3. 2.3Start or reach (a stage or period of time) in an activity or situation.
      ‘the election campaign entered its final phase’
      • ‘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.’
      begin, start, move into, go into, enter on
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    4. 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’
    • ‘He rubbed his eyes as she entered the last of their notes into the datapak on the desk before her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Where phones lose out to palmtops is screen size, the ease with which you can enter information and flexibility in choice of software.’
    • ‘Since then all the original material and volumes of fresh material have been carefully researched, assessed and entered onto the computer system.’
    • ‘Also entered is information about his or her family and friends.’
    • ‘Secondly, you can deliberately enter information about yourself into a digital profile.’
    • ‘If you think you have forgotten to enter a note for that bar and try to enter one, you will end up with two notes instead of one.’
    • ‘There's been much confusion over the pledging process and I will happily get you registered and enter the amount you stipulate.’
    • ‘Unsigned vouchers had been entered in the books of accounts.’
    • ‘Users can use it to enter information about themselves on any web site without having to type it in manually every time.’
    • ‘She enters it in the register and hands him his change.’
    • ‘New buttons formed, and on the screen it indicated for him to enter how far into the future to move.’
    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
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  • 4Law
    Submit (a statement) in an official capacity.

    ‘a solicitor entered a plea of guilty on her behalf’
    • ‘He again reiterated that he would not have entered his guilty plea had he known of this additional licence suspension.’
    • ‘She entered a guilty plea without having gone through a preliminary hearing.’
    • ‘During a hearing on Monday, his solicitor entered no plea and made no application for bail.’
    • ‘In nearly all cases, the defendant enters a guilty plea before trial.’
    • ‘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
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  • A key on a computer keyboard which is used to perform various functions, such as executing a command or selecting options on a menu.

    • ‘With that in mind, be sure to hit the enter key twice before typing your reply after a previous e-mail's contents.’
    • ‘Hitting the enter key will take you to a static menu but the extras, except for the commentary track, are not on it.’
    • ‘This key is used much more than the Delete key and most keyboards use a size almost as large as the enter key.’
    • ‘She hit the enter key and the algorithm checking his control of environmental air scrubbers began.’
    • ‘Pressing the enter key expands the boundaries of the map so that there's a depiction of the entire level, from which you can ascertain the precise locations of all the control points under your team's banner.’
    • ‘Another user comes up to me in the coffee room and asks if I can replace the enter key on his laptop.’
    • ‘He punched the enter key and the first line ceased scrolling.’
    • ‘Using the keyboard on his lap, he typed a few lines and pushed the enter key.’
    • ‘Finally, he pressed the enter key on the last keypad.’
    • ‘She hit the enter key to the shield computer, running the program she had kept quiet about.’
    • ‘When these debates on a posted news article start, ask yourself a question before you hit the enter key.’
    • ‘With the map screen showing, a touch of the enter key clears the surface data from the screen, leaving only aviation information.’
    • ‘Finishing the re-reading, he hit the enter key, sending the test off to the instructor's station.’
    • ‘Its concerns have to do with paper, the enter key and the space-bar.’
    • ‘The main problems for me personally were the backspace key and the enter key.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She finishes her typing with a drawn-out pressing of the enter key and looks pointedly at her sister.’
    • ‘He pressed a few keys and hit the enter key with some bravado.’
    • ‘He tapped the enter key and the screen popped up.’
    • ‘The various accoutrements that comprise his inventory may be viewed via the middle icon, and activated by pressing the enter key.’


  • enter someone's head (or mind)

    • (of a thought or idea) occur to someone.

      ‘the thought never entered my head!’
      • ‘In a match it doesn't even enter his mind, but it's in training that mental demons indulge in unsporting behaviour.’
      • ‘For a good while longer, I was disgusted with myself that the idea even entered my mind.’
      • ‘‘It never entered my mind to leave, to be honest,’ he insists.’
      • ‘In fact, even when financial circumstances would have allowed him to travel and revisit the place of his birth, it seems that the idea of doing so never entered his mind.’
      • ‘It does, of course, enter my mind that I am being considered for the tour, but really I have to make sure that I play well for Scotland.’
      • ‘The implication was that in his state such a question would not have entered his mind.’
      • ‘‘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!’
      • ‘What occurred next had not entered his mind either.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was very frustrating, and I would be lying if I said the idea of cutting it all off never entered my mind.’
  • enter into force

    • Come into effect.

      ‘the treaty entered into force in 1975’
      • ‘As a result of the ratification by EU Member States, the number of countries ratifying the Treaty will exceed 40 and the Treaty will now enter into force in 90 days.’
      • ‘Reaching it does not mean that the Treaty enters into force, as some would have liked.’
      • ‘This will require changing the EU's Constitutional Treaty once it enters into force.’
      • ‘It will have jurisdiction only over crimes committed after the treaty enters into force.’
      • ‘The treaty entered into force on 9 November 1992, after a difficult ratification process that was complicated by the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991.’
      • ‘The revised treaty is expected to enter into force in 2004.’
      • ‘The treaty will not enter into force, however, until it is ratified by all 25 member states, through their national parliaments or popular referendums.’
      • ‘The two new treaties entered into force on 1 January 1958.’
      • ‘When the Treaty of Rome originally entered into force in 1958 it was not clear that it was intended to give rise to such actions on the part of individuals.’
      • ‘Even before the treaty has entered into force, many of the countries committed to carrying it out have discovered that they can do even better.’
  • 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’
      • ‘It is to be hoped that local firms enter into the spirit of it, although some will no doubt regard it as an additional imposition on them at a time when many are struggling to make a profit.’
      • ‘Thank you to everyone for entering into the spirit of this event which marked the 10th year of this festival.’
      • ‘It is a very relaxed break but you have to enter into the spirit of it.’
      • ‘And you have entered into the spirit of things magnificently.’
      • ‘All the bands entered into the spirit of the evening's relaxed atmosphere and none of us was in a hurry to leave.’
      • ‘She welcomed the emigrants, visitors and all who came along to enjoy themselves and enter into the spirit of the celebrations.’
      • ‘It will be good if everyone enters into the spirit of it and wears a toga.’
      • ‘She added: ‘We're asking people to enter into the spirit of the event by dressing up as their favourite detective, historian or clairvoyant.’’
      • ‘The point is he entered into the spirit of it and didn't complain.’
      • ‘‘Everyone entered into the spirit of the event and sang the carols with enthusiasm,’ he said.’
  • 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’
      • ‘Being successful can bring a lot of evils and I hope that they haven't entered my life.’
      • ‘But a 10-year-old boy enters her life, saying he's the reincarnation of her ex-husband.’
      • ‘In this case, the void has occurred because something hasn't entered my life.’
      • ‘In Mexico however they entered my life once again in a more substantive way.’
      • ‘The relationship between Anna and David is tested when a wealthy gentleman, Edward, enters Anna 's life.’
      • ‘Someone you've never met will enter your life at some point in the future.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It isn't until she enters his life that he is able to discover his own talent.’
      • ‘Most of my friends have entered my life by accident and stayed there by worth.’
      • ‘And just exactly who is the one-eyed stranger that's mysteriously entered her life?’

Phrasal Verbs

  • enter into

    • 1Become involved in (an activity or situation)

      ‘they have entered into a relationship’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In my opinion, it was a mistake to enter into a living situation with an irresponsible person - even if he is your brother.’
      • ‘For this reason, one should not enter into a dangerous situation without a valid reason.’
      • ‘How does the Government's obligation to enter into discussions in that situation compare with the treaty claims process?’
      • ‘Compromise allows us to enter into a win-win situation.’
      • ‘To support their pleasures, some middle-class men entered into criminal activity.’
      • ‘The authors of Envisioning Cnhokia attempt to remedy this situation by entering into a dialogue with those who have gone before them.’
      • ‘Copeland evidently regarded such aspirations with deep hostility and responded by entering into fascist political activity for the first time.’
      • ‘Whenever a researcher enters into a secretive situation such as commercial-in-confidence research or military research, they effectively disappear from view.’
      participate in, engage in, enter into, join in, get involved in, go in for, throw oneself into, 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 party to, be a party to
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Undertake to bind oneself by (an agreement or other commitment)
        ‘the council entered into an agreement with a private firm’
        • ‘Cohabiting couples have not publicly entered into legally binding agreements.’
        • ‘They make secure their homes, families, jobs and friends and they do not undertake risk or enter into long-term commitments.’
        • ‘One aspect of the post-Cancun phase is that agreements entered into there are binding in law at every level of government.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘First, behind closed doors, the council enters into partnership agreements and draws up plans.’
        • ‘I find it quite remarkable that the council has entered into such an agreement.’
        • ‘As a trade union official and a citizen I know the importance of honouring agreements freely entered into.’
        • ‘On 14 September 1972 a formal agreement was entered into between the council and the NCB, and the work went ahead.’
        • ‘When we met the developers they avoided any hard questions asked, yet weeks later this council voted to enter into this agreement with them.’
        • ‘The true nature of the contract was that which an architect enters into in any situation where he is designing a home.’
      2. 1.2Form part of or be a factor in.
        ‘medical ethics also enter into the question’
        • ‘There are all kinds of subjective factors that enter into it.’
        • ‘His last speech here is not only effectively funny, but reproduces, in a stylized sort of way, a realistic bathos that enters into even the highest-stakes situations.’
        • ‘Certain extraneous factors deserve to enter into selection of a name.’
        • ‘It's also important to note that, for the first time in our Easter season, human activity enters into the picture.’
        • ‘So all these factors can enter into the capacity to resist.’
        • ‘It is not entirely clear what factors entered into the decision to close the station in Peru.’
        • ‘Meditation enters into almost all these activities.’
        • ‘The protection of the Claimants' reputations in Sudan is not a factor which enters into this equation.’
        • ‘The factor of material corruption enters into it in some cases.’
        • ‘Well, it appears that there are a number of factors that are entering into this.’
  • enter on/upon

    • 1Begin (an activity or job); start to pursue (a particular course in life)

      ‘he entered upon a turbulent political career’
      • ‘The government has entered on a collision course with the education community over its new law to reform the university system.’
      • ‘Nations, bordering on the already infected countries, began to enter upon serious plans for the better keeping out of the enemy.’
      • ‘She entered on the works with remarkable zest and activity, and rapidly accomplished her self-imposed task to the great admiration of the onlookers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’.’
      begin, start, move into, go into, enter on
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    • 2Law
      (as a legal entitlement) go freely into (property) as or as if the owner.

      ‘the tenant shall have licence to enter upon the premises’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On 12 August 1993 the appellants gave notice of their entitlement to enter on the site, and on 27 August 1993 they gave further notice that they would take possession of the plant on 31 August 1993.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The grantee of a right of way has a right to enter upon the grantor's land over which the way extends for the purpose of making the grant effective.’


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