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From Middle English enjoinen, from Old French enjoindre (to join with), from Latin iniungo (to attach), a compound of in- (into” “upon) and iungo.


  • IPA(key): /ɛnˈdʒɔɪn/, /ɪnˈdʒɔɪn/, /ənˈdʒɔɪn/
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪn
  • (file)


enjoin (third-person singular simple present enjoins, present participle enjoining, simple past and past participle enjoined)

  1. (transitive, chiefly literary) To lay upon, as an order or command; to give an injunction to; to direct with authority; to order; to charge.
    • 1596, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene 9 [1]
      I am enjoin'd by oath to observe three things:
    • 1611, King James Bible - Esther 9:31, [2]
      to confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them []
    • 1934, George Orwell, chapter 14, in Burmese Days[3]:
      At some landmark in the jungle the beater halted, pointed to the ground as a sign that this spot would do, and put his finger on his lips to enjoin silence.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick[4], chapter 16:
      But to my surprise and no small concern, Queequeg now gave me to understand, that he had been diligently consulting Yojo—the name of his black little god—and Yojo had told him two or three times over, and strongly insisted upon it everyway, that instead of our going together among the whaling-fleet in harbor, and in concert selecting our craft; instead of this, I say, Yojo earnestly enjoined that the selection of the ship should rest wholly with me, inasmuch as Yojo purposed befriending us; [...]
  2. (transitive, law) To prohibit or restrain by a judicial order or decree; to put an injunction on.
    • 1989, Western Oregon Program—Management of Competing Vegetation: Proposed Record of Decision, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Chapter 1, p. 9, [5]
      In 1983, BLM was enjoined by court order from using any herbicides in its Medford, Oregon District. Subsequent court action in 1984 enjoined BLM from the use of herbicides throughout Oregon and the U.S. Forest Service was similarly enjoined throughout Region 6 (Pacific Northwest).
    • (Can we date this quote by Kent and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      This is a suit to enjoin the defendants from disturbing the plaintiffs.

Related terms[edit]