Also, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says airline passengers arriving from Ebola stricken countries, must now land in one of these five U.S. airports. They have enhanced Ebola screening in place. from CNN Student News

I cannot figure it out what in place really means here.

  • 1
    This can be answered with a dictionary, but it requires a sophisticated use of the dictionary. Try searching on "in place": here's the result from Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oct 25, 2014 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


To explain 'in place' in simple words is something which is ready and all set to be used.

For example

Suppose you have started a new company. You have bought a place, got it furnished and in the interiors done, computers installed and even pre-hired the employees to work for it. The only thing which is left to be done to get the business going is 'installing the software or the system' via which you will be conduting your business. Now you say -

  1. Everything is in place except the systems. (meaning - everything is ready for the work to begin except the software system. As soon as the systems are installed the work will begin)

Once you get the software installed on the computers in your company then you can say -

  1. We all are raring to go about the business now that the systems are in place. (Systems are ready for work)

So 'in place' is used for the systems, methods or anything that gets the respective job started. In your example it is Enhanced Ebbola screening.

In your example (They have enhanced Ebola screening in place) the letter 'e' in enhanced should be written in capital.

Because of the letter 'e' is written in small it appears like it is a verb. But it is not a verb, it is an adjective.

So now the sentence would be --

They have Enhanced Ebola screening in place. (The Enhanced Ebbola screening is all ready to be used)

More examples of Enhanced -

  1. Enhanced Computer Systems
  2. Enchanced Security Systems
  3. Enhanced Battery
  • 1
    I think you've hit upon the root of the potential misunderstanding ("enhanced" as verb vs. adjective), but I cannot agree with your contention that it should be capitalized; as useful as it might be, English has very limited use of capitalization, and common adjectives never get capitalized (except as part of a proper-noun phrase or a headline, I suppose). Sadly, there really is no standard way of disambiguating such a confusion point.
    – Hellion
    Oct 27, 2014 at 18:25
  • Hellion - I don't understand your point here. I think you got it all wrong. It's not my contention to capitalise 'e' in enhanced for the explanation's sake. Here 'enhanced' is not a common adjective. It's the name of the system, that's why it should be capitialized. If you have a better explanation then i'd appreciate if you could post an answer to the original question. Unless and until you do that, your disagreement with me won't count.
    – Leo
    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:03
  • 1
    In that case, I disagree with your contention that it's part of the name; what they used to have in place was Ebola screening, and what they have now is an enhanced version of their previous Ebola screening, which was written in its standard short form of "enhanced Ebola screening". (In other words, it IS a common adjective.)
    – Hellion
    Oct 28, 2014 at 12:39
  • Let's agree to disagree then !
    – Leo
    Oct 28, 2014 at 17:13

As per the Free Dictionary, the phrase "in place" is used for what is in effect or being used. So the Department has increased or improved on Ebola screening,

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