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Webster 1913 Edition


Enforce

En-force′

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Enforced
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Enforcing
.]
[OF.
enforcier
to strengthen, force, F.
enforcir
; pref.
en-
(L.
in
) + F.
force
. See
Force
.]
1.
To put force upon; to force; to constrain; to compel;
as, to
enforce
obedience to commands
.
Inward joy
enforced
my heart to smile.
Shakespeare
2.
To make or gain by force; to obtain by force;
as, to
enforce
a passage
.
Enforcing furious way.”
Spenser.
3.
To put in motion or action by violence; to drive.
As swift as stones
Enforced
from the old Assyrian slings.
Shakespeare
4.
To give force to; to strengthen; to invigorate; to urge with energy;
as, to
enforce
arguments or requests
.
Enforcing
sentiment of the thrust humanity.
Burke.
5.
To put in force; to cause to take effect; to give effect to; to execute with vigor;
as, to
enforce
the laws
.
6.
To urge; to ply hard; to lay much stress upon.
Enforce
him with his envy to the people.
Shakespeare

En-force

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To attempt by force.
[Obs.]
2.
To prove; to evince.
[R.]
Hooker.
3.
To strengthen; to grow strong.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.

En-force′

,
Noun.
Force; strength; power.
[Obs.]
A petty enterprise of small
enforce
.
Milton.

Webster 1828 Edition


Enforce

ENFO'RCE

, v.t.
1.
To give strength to; to strengthen; to invigorate. [See Def.5.]
2.
To make or gain by force; to force; as, to enforce a passage.
3.
To put in act by violence; to drive.
Stones enforced from the old Assyrian slings.
4.
To instigate; to urge on; to animate.
5.
To urge with energy; to give force to; to impress on the mind; as, to enforce remarks or arguments.
6.
To compel; to constrain; to force.
7.
To put in execution; to cause to take effect; as, to enforce the laws.
8.
To press with a charge.
9.
To prove; to evince. [Little used.]

ENFO'RCE

,
Verb.
I.
To attempt by force. [Not used.]

ENFO'RCE

,
Noun.
Force; strength; power. [Not used.]

Definition 2022


enforce

enforce

English

Alternative forms

Verb

enforce (third-person singular simple present enforces, present participle enforcing, simple past and past participle enforced)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To strengthen (a castle, town etc.) with extra troops, fortifications etc. [14th-18thc.]
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To intensify, make stronger, add force to. [14th-18thc.]
  3. (obsolete, reflexive) To exert oneself, to try hard. [14th-17thc.]
  4. To give strength or force to; to affirm, to emphasize. [from 15thc.]
    The victim was able to enforce his evidence against the alleged perpetrator.
  5. (archaic) To compel, oblige (someone or something); to force. [from 16thc.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, I.2.4.iv:
      Uladislaus the Second, King of Poland, and Peter Dunnius, Earl of Shrine [] had been hunting late, and were enforced to lodge in a poor cottage.
    • 1899, E. OE. Somerville and Martin Ross, Some Experiences of an Irish R.M., Great Uncle McCarthy:
      In a few minutes I was stealthily groping my way down my own staircase, with a box of matches in my hand, enforced by scientific curiosity, but none the less armed with a stick.
  6. To keep up, impose or bring into effect something, not necessarily by force. [from 17thc.]
    The police are there to enforce the law.
  7. (obsolete) To make or gain by force; to force.
    to enforce a passage
    • Spenser
      enforcing furious way
  8. (obsolete) To put in motion or action by violence; to drive.
    • Shakespeare
      As swift as stones / Enforced from the old Assyrian slings.
  9. (obsolete) To give force to; to strengthen; to invigorate; to urge with energy.
    to enforce arguments or requests
    • Burke
      enforcing sentiment of the thrust humanity
  10. (obsolete) To urge; to ply hard; to lay much stress upon.
    • Shakespeare
      Enforce him with his envy to the people.
  11. To prove; to evince.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hooker to this entry?)

Derived terms

Translations