Definition of enact in English:



  • 1Make (a bill or other proposal) law.

    ‘legislation was enacted in 1987 to attract international companies’
    • ‘Parliament has not expressly enacted what standard of proof shall be applied on an application for a sex offender order.’
    • ‘The legislative framework: under the 1992 legislation as originally enacted.’
    • ‘Hunted for its pelt, the lynx declined until protective legislation was enacted in the 1970s.’
    • ‘Remember, there has been no significant piece of reformist legislation enacted into law for nearly 30 years.’
    • ‘Adequate legislation should be enacted to ensure curbing of illegal activities in the forests.’
    • ‘Congress recently enacted sweeping anti-terrorism legislation which expanded law enforcement powers, and outlawed biological materials.’
    • ‘Some states have enacted statutes requiring mandatory reporting, civil and criminal penalties and emergency interventions.’
    • ‘Several judges have thrown out democratically enacted term limits.’
    • ‘Statutory rape laws were first enacted to protect minors from older predators.’
    • ‘Under your watch, laws eradicating civil liberties have been enacted which put into question the rights of citizens.’
    • ‘Rather, Parliament was enacting legislation in which a number of classes of persons have significant interests.’
    • ‘They serve to impose what could never be legislatively enacted.’
    • ‘Congress enacted the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972 to protect dolphins from the effects of purse seine tuna fishing.’
    • ‘The statute was enacted pursuant to Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce.’
    • ‘And at the same time, several German states have already enacted the proposed French style bans on student attire.’
    • ‘We should remember that no other group of citizens is consulted before measures are enacted to prevent illegal activity.’
    • ‘In the United States, several states have already enacted genetic privacy laws.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 Put into practice (a belief, idea, or suggestion)
      • ‘We needed time to enact the recommendations of the royal commission.’
      • ‘And more measures must be enacted to ensure doctors and surgeons are not severely overworked.’
      • ‘Lumber company and government employees were more likely to enact recommendations that were convenient and cheap.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Whereas a legislator must check his impulse to enact his religious precepts into law, an executive official faces a somewhat different problem.’
      • ‘We hope the proposed improvements will be enacted during the current session of the Diet.’
      • ‘The commission's recommendations, if enacted, could prove critical to safeguarding the US.’
      • ‘Without understanding why, she allowed herself to enact the strange thought.’
      • ‘It is not clear if Bremer formally enacted her recommendations or not.’
      • ‘He later challenged him to commit to enacting the recommendations of the report during his term as president.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some items ask respondents about the ethical beliefs of their partners, regardless of whether the beliefs are behaviourally enacted or not.’
      • ‘Most of the committee's recommendations were enacted.’
      • ‘The French Revolution was an attempt to enact his ideas.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The National Security Adviser joined the President at the ranch to discuss enacting recommendations that could be implemented immediately by executive order.’
  • 2Act out (a role or play) on stage.

    • ‘When the children performed, enacting the various plays on stage, their disability was hardly on their mind.’
    • ‘Travelling drama groups visited different communities to enact short plays about gender violence.’
    • ‘Perhaps the dramatist was unwilling to repeat material recently enacted in the True Tragedy.’
    • ‘Yet scandal in the colonies was also enacted on the global stage of British imperialism.’
    • ‘Thus, she argues, Plath's poems enact a theatrical performance rather than a sincere expression of mourning.’
    • ‘The baddie roles are enacted by Rob and Budd, professional stage actors from Hollywood.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once the moment has been enacted on stage, it can never come back.’
    • ‘Damien Matthews enacts the role of the actor in the play and Herford himself plays the part of the lawyer.’


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