Definition of enjoin in US English:



  • 1with object and infinitive Instruct or urge (someone) to do something.

    with object and infinitive ‘the code enjoined members to trade fairly’
    • ‘The code also enjoins the rebels and the government to refrain from any provocative acts such as arrests, kidnapping and extortion.’
    • ‘They enjoin members to be ‘gentle and compassionate, kind and courteous’.’
    • ‘At the same time, the ordinary workers were enjoined to toil even harder and sacrifice ever more in the name of national development.’
    • ‘I worked once on a research vessel in the Bahamas, and each afternoon at about three, a pod of dolphins surrounded the boat, enjoining us to come play.’
    • ‘Then a female voice breaks in with an advisory about the traffic jam, during which she enjoins drivers already trapped to give lifts to pedestrians.’
    • ‘In general, it enjoins us to refrain from all aggression and fraud, since both are seen as violations of human dignity, ways of fashioning human beings into tools for one's own ends.’
    • ‘He enjoined investors to change their attitude and become socially responsible to improve ordinary people's quality of life.’
    • ‘So Allah enjoins Muslims to fight those people who create hurdles on the path of creating a peaceful and just society.’
    • ‘This wonderful statement enjoins us to understand that in political matters there can be no single ‘university position’ or voice.’
    • ‘Members are enjoined to study and to teach others.’
    • ‘More than three decades passed before Lewis enjoined his readers to utilize dumb-bells as instruments that would benefit their lungs, improve the condition of their hearts, and enhance their vigor.’
    urge, encourage, try to persuade, adjure, admonish, press, prompt, prod, goad, egg on, spur, push, pressure, put pressure on, use pressure on, pressurize, lean on
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Prescribe (an action or attitude) to be performed or adopted.
      ‘the charitable deeds enjoined on him by religion’
      • ‘Fasting is one of the five ‘pillars of Islam’ and is enjoined on everyone who has reached puberty.’
      • ‘The first is to explain why - if moral action is a hindrance to nirvana - the texts continually enjoin the performance of good deeds.’
      • ‘All happens only by the will of Allah and the acceptance of this reality is enjoined on the believers.’
      stipulate, lay down, dictate, specify, impose, set down, determine, establish, fix, formulate, appoint, decree, order, command, pronounce, ordain, require, direct, make provision for, promulgate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2enjoin someone fromLaw Prohibit someone from performing (a particular action) by issuing an injunction.
      • ‘The Florida Supreme Court overruled her and enjoined her from certifying.’
      • ‘With respect to the military commissions, we were enjoined from going forward with military commissions by a district court order.’
      • ‘It's called separation of church and state; more explicitly, that our constitution specifically enjoins government from promoting one religion rather than another.’
      • ‘It has acquired a tape of the hearing before Judge Alvarez which resulted in a thirteen year old girl being enjoined from having an abortion.’
      • ‘In the meantime, Mr. Meyer is enjoined from in any way further interfering with the flow of water in the channel from the plaintiffs’ land across his land.’
      prohibit, ban, bar, prevent, inhibit, interdict
      View synonyms


Middle English (formerly also as injoin): from Old French enjoindre, from Latin injungere ‘join, attach, impose’, from in- ‘in, towards’ + jungere ‘to join’.