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enforce (also “inforce”; the sense of compelling the observance of a law is post-S.)
1. to drive by force 2H4 IV. i. 71 “e-'d from our most quiet sphere By the rough torrent of occasion,” H5 IV. vii. 66 “as swift as stones E-d from the old Assyrian slings.”
2. to obtain or produce by physical or moral force LLL. III. i. 79, IV. i. 82, AYL. II. iii. 32 “ A thievish living,” John I. i. 18, H5 III. vii. 31, Tim. V. iv. 45, Ant. I. iii. 7, Lucr. 181 “As from this cold flint I enforc'd this fire.”
3. to use force upon Cæs. IV. iii. 111; (hence) press upon, urge (a person) Cor. III. iii. 3.
4. to urge the performance of (a thing) R2 IV. i. 90 “we will his trial,” Cor. III. iii. 21, Lr. II. iii. 20 “Enforce their charity.”
5. to put forward strongly, lay stress upon Meas. V. i. 262, Cor. II. iii. 227, Cæs. III. ii. 43 “his glory not extenuated; . . . nor his offences e-d,” Ant. II. ii. 103; absol. Ant. V. ii. 124.
6. to obtrude (a thing) “on” All'sW. II. i. 129.
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hide References (12 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (12):
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 1.3
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 3.3
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 3.7
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 4.7
    • William Shakespeare, Richard II, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
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