Definition of enforce in English:



  • 1 Compel observance of or compliance with (a law, rule, or obligation)

    • ‘The commissioner is responsible for enforcing the law regarding data protection and freedom of information’
    • ‘These contracts make explicit the duty parents have to impose boundaries and enforce discipline.’
    • ‘Their duty and responsibility are to enforce the laws, to investigate, and to prosecute…’
    • ‘Far harder to deliver these promises and for external agencies to monitor and enforce them.’
    • ‘Schools must be responsible when awarding these contracts for enforcing the conditions in the tender agreements.’
    • ‘A judge has to enforce the law that is made by Parliament or made under the authority of Parliament.’
    • ‘The letter then went on to give instances in which the government authorities enforced the rule of law.’
    • ‘The policy calls for all police to strictly enforce the laws and arrest all drug dealers.’
    • ‘The way in which the police maintained order and enforced the law was itself supposed to be governed by legalistic procedures and constraints.’
    • ‘It is one thing to say that the powers of the civil courts can be invoked to enforce the criminal law.’
    • ‘The Legislature has yet to fund a task force charged with enforcing the act.’
    • ‘There are also provisions that create statutory obligations to enforce the Act.’
    • ‘Before long, traffic cops would have to start enforcing the minimum speed requirement.’
    • ‘Damages were being sought for compensation as a result of the council's negligent advice and not primarily to enforce a public law right.’
    • ‘And how the Supreme Court decides them will be a telling indicator of its commitment to enforcing the rule of law.’
    • ‘Jurisdiction to enforce laws relating to dumping follows the same pattern.’
    • ‘Strict liability offences are only necessary if there is no other means of achieving the ends of protecting the public and enforcing the law.’
    • ‘First, the Attorney General enforces the law, both criminal and civil.’
    • ‘Just as predictably, he insisted that prosecutors and police were only enforcing the law.’
    • ‘Both criminal and civil laws are enforced by a national police force.’
    force, compel, exact, extort, demand, insist on, require, necessitate
    impose, apply, carry out, administer, implement, bring to bear, discharge, fulfil, execute, prosecute
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Cause (something) to happen by necessity or force.
      ‘there is no outside agency to enforce cooperation between the players’
      • ‘If you are an employee, partner, affiliate or legal representative of any site which enforces compulsory user registration then we require you to complete our registration process.’
      • ‘The alliance spokesperson also warns the council that enforcing their anti-bonfire directive could force people into burning refuse in their fireplaces.’
      • ‘This is in contrast to enforcing ethical norms, which is a matter all officials must be concerned about.’
      • ‘Mainstream politicians are agreed that enforcing this regime is necessary to keep all chief executives happy.’
      • ‘In addition, some problems arise beyond the control of banks, such as difficulties with the legal system enforcing loan contracts and compensation.’
      • ‘He also agreed to make it easier for farmers to appeal against Government officials entering their farms or enforcing a compulsory vaccination or slaughter policy.’
      • ‘On Thursday, word got around that either the local or federal government was about to begin enforcing the mandatory evacuation.’
      • ‘Is the Assembly powerful enough to enforce a political solution outside the limits of the Constitution?’
      • ‘The teenager's death prompted Stanwell residents to join forces to try to enforce a new traffic calming scheme in Long Lane.’
      • ‘I was sure that theme nights had some built-in stipulation enforcing dressing up, but alas I have to say I was related to everyone who made an effort.’
      • ‘He was apparently the only reporter in the city when U.S. forces were enforcing a crippling siege.’
      • ‘He said yesterday that the problem would not be solved until a worldwide body was able to enforce the necessary changes.’
      • ‘Perhaps the time has come to take this a step further, by enforcing compulsory contributions on both employers and employees.’
      • ‘The good news is that most political forces are willing to enforce the changes.’
      • ‘It's been a force for enforcing peace.’
      • ‘While there are businesses that enforce mandatory retirement, I don't know much about them.’
      compulsory, obligatory, mandatory, involuntary, forced, exacted, coerced, imposed, demanded, required, requisite, stipulated, contractual, binding, necessitated, necessary, unavoidable, inescapable, obliged, impelled, constrained, dictated, ordained, prescribed
      de rigueur
      View synonyms


Middle English (in the senses strive and impel by force; formerly also as inforce): from Old French enforcir, enforcier, based on Latin in- in + fortis strong.