Top 20 Slang For Enforce – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to asserting authority or ensuring rules are followed, having the right slang can make all the difference. “Enforce” is a term that carries weight and power, but what if there are more colorful and engaging ways to express the same idea? Join us as we uncover the coolest and most effective slang for enforce that will level up your communication game and have you sounding like a pro in no time!

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1. Crack down

To take strict measures or actions to enforce rules or laws. It often implies a strong and forceful response to a situation that requires control or regulation.

  • For example, “The police cracked down on illegal street racing by increasing patrols and issuing hefty fines.”
  • A government might crack down on corruption by implementing new regulations and conducting thorough investigations.
  • In a workplace, a manager might crack down on tardiness by implementing stricter attendance policies and penalties.

2. Clamp down

To tighten control or restrictions on a particular activity or behavior. It suggests a more intense and focused effort to enforce rules or regulations.

  • For instance, “The school administration clamped down on cheating by implementing stricter monitoring during exams.”
  • A city might clamp down on noise pollution by enforcing stricter noise regulations and issuing fines to violators.
  • In a company, a supervisor might clamp down on unauthorized internet usage by monitoring employees’ online activities and implementing consequences for violations.

3. Lay down the law

To establish or enforce rules in a firm and authoritative manner. It implies the use of one’s authority or power to ensure compliance with the rules.

  • For example, “The coach laid down the law and made it clear that any player caught using drugs would be immediately dismissed from the team.”
  • A parent might lay down the law and set strict curfew rules for their teenager to ensure their safety.
  • In a courtroom, a judge might lay down the law by imposing harsh penalties on a defendant found guilty of a serious crime.

4. Keep in check

To maintain control or keep something under control. It suggests the need to constantly monitor and regulate a situation or behavior to prevent it from becoming excessive or out of control.

  • For instance, “The teacher kept the students’ noise level in check by implementing a noise meter in the classroom.”
  • A supervisor might keep employee productivity in check by regularly monitoring their work and providing feedback.
  • In a relationship, partners might keep jealousy in check by openly communicating and addressing insecurities.
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5. Put the hammer down

To take decisive and forceful action to enforce rules or discipline. It implies a strong and final response to a situation that requires immediate attention or resolution.

  • For example, “The manager put the hammer down and fired the employee who repeatedly violated company policies.”
  • A government might put the hammer down on tax evasion by conducting extensive investigations and imposing severe penalties on offenders.
  • In a sports game, a referee might put the hammer down and issue red cards to players who engage in violent behavior.

6. Rein in

To gain control over or limit the actions or behavior of someone or something.

  • For example, “The government needs to rein in spending to reduce the national debt.”
  • A manager might say, “We need to rein in our employees’ social media usage during work hours.”
  • In a discussion about parenting, someone might suggest, “Parents should learn how to rein in their children’s screen time.”

7. Police

To monitor or regulate a situation or behavior, often in a strict or authoritative manner.

  • For instance, “The school is cracking down on bullying and has increased police presence.”
  • A supervisor might say, “I will police the office to ensure everyone is following the dress code.”
  • In a discussion about online communities, someone might mention, “Moderators are responsible for policing the forum and enforcing the rules.”

8. Regulate

To control or govern an activity, process, or behavior by implementing rules or regulations.

  • For example, “The government regulates the sale of alcohol to prevent underage drinking.”
  • A fitness instructor might say, “Eating a balanced diet is important to regulate your metabolism.”
  • In a discussion about environmental conservation, someone might argue, “We need stricter laws to regulate pollution and protect our planet.”

9. Keep tabs on

To monitor or watch someone or something closely, often to stay informed or maintain control.

  • For instance, “The detective kept tabs on the suspect’s movements to gather evidence.”
  • A parent might say, “I always keep tabs on my child’s online activities to ensure their safety.”
  • In a discussion about competition, someone might mention, “Businesses need to keep tabs on their competitors to stay ahead in the market.”

10. Keep a tight leash

To maintain strict control over someone or something, often by closely monitoring their actions or limiting their freedom.

  • For example, “The new CEO keeps a tight leash on the company’s finances.”
  • A coach might say, “I keep a tight leash on my players’ training schedules to ensure peak performance.”
  • In a discussion about government surveillance, someone might argue, “Citizens’ privacy rights are at risk when the government keeps a tight leash on their personal data.”

11. Keep under wraps

This phrase means to keep something hidden or secret from others. It is often used when referring to confidential information or plans.

  • For example, “We need to keep this project under wraps until it’s ready to be announced.”
  • In a discussion about a surprise party, someone might say, “Make sure to keep it under wraps so they don’t find out.”
  • A journalist might write, “The company is keeping the details of the new product under wraps until the official launch.”

12. Keep a lid on

This expression means to maintain control over a situation or to prevent something from escalating or getting out of hand.

  • For instance, “The teacher tried to keep a lid on the students’ excitement during the assembly.”
  • In a conversation about a heated argument, someone might advise, “Try to keep a lid on your emotions to avoid further conflict.”
  • A manager might say, “We need to keep a lid on the rumors and maintain a positive work environment.”

13. Keep a watchful eye

This phrase means to be alert and attentive, often in order to monitor or supervise a situation.

  • For example, “Parents need to keep a watchful eye on their children when they’re playing outside.”
  • In a discussion about security, someone might say, “We have security cameras to keep a watchful eye on the premises.”
  • A coach might advise their team, “Keep a watchful eye on the opposing player and be ready to defend.”

14. Keep under control

This expression means to maintain discipline or manage a situation in order to prevent it from becoming chaotic or unruly.

  • For instance, “The teacher struggled to keep the class under control during the field trip.”
  • In a conversation about a rowdy party, someone might say, “We need to keep the noise under control to avoid complaints.”
  • A supervisor might advise their team, “Keep your workload under control by prioritizing tasks and managing your time effectively.”

15. Keep on a short leash

This phrase means to closely monitor and control someone’s actions or behavior, often in a strict or restrictive manner.

  • For example, “The new employee was kept on a short leash until they proved themselves.”
  • In a discussion about parenting, someone might say, “Some parents prefer to keep their teenagers on a short leash to ensure their safety.”
  • A manager might tell their team, “Due to recent issues, we need to keep everyone on a short leash and closely monitor their work.”

16. Keep a close eye on

This phrase means to watch or observe someone or something very attentively and carefully. It implies a sense of vigilance and scrutiny.

  • For example, a teacher might say to a misbehaving student, “I’m going to keep a close eye on you during class.”
  • A parent might tell their child, “I’m going to keep a close eye on your grades this semester.”
  • A supervisor might say to an employee, “I’m going to keep a close eye on your progress with this project.”

17. Keep a firm grip

This phrase means to hold onto something tightly and securely, both literally and figuratively. It suggests the idea of not letting go and staying in control.

  • For instance, a rock climber might say, “Make sure to keep a firm grip on the rope.”
  • A coach might advise a player, “Keep a firm grip on the ball to avoid fumbling.”
  • In a difficult situation, someone might say, “I need to keep a firm grip on my emotions.”

18. Keep under surveillance

This phrase means to observe or watch someone or something continuously and discreetly, often for security or investigative purposes. It implies the act of keeping a watchful eye on someone or something.

  • For example, a detective might say, “We need to keep the suspect under surveillance.”
  • A security officer might report, “The building is being kept under surveillance for any suspicious activity.”
  • A concerned parent might ask, “Can you keep my child under surveillance while they’re at the party?”

19. Keep under lock and key

This phrase means to keep someone or something in a secure and restricted place, often by locking it up. It suggests the idea of safeguarding and protecting.

  • For instance, a museum curator might say, “We keep valuable artifacts under lock and key.”
  • A homeowner might say, “I keep my important documents under lock and key in a safe.”
  • A prison warden might inform a visitor, “Dangerous criminals are kept under lock and key in maximum-security cells.”

20. Keep in line

This phrase means to ensure compliance or obedience, especially in a group setting. It implies the act of enforcing rules or regulations.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “I expect all students to keep in line during the field trip.”
  • A supervisor might remind employees, “Please keep in line with company policies and procedures.”
  • A coach might say to their team, “We need to keep in line and follow the game plan.”