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[fawrs-fuh l, fohrs-] /ˈfɔrs fəl, ˈfoʊrs-/
full of force; powerful; vigorous; effective:
a forceful plea for peace.
acting or driven with force.
Origin of forceful
First recorded in 1565-75; force + -ful
Related forms
forcefully, adverb
forcefulness, noun
unforceful, adjective
unforcefully, adverb
Can be confused
forceful, forcible.
1. cogent, telling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for forcefulness
Historical Examples
  • His face was an epitome of forcefulness, his lips hard, his eyes brilliant.

    The Black Box E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • It was forcefulness, despite his many shortcomings, which most appealed to her.

    Kennedy Square F. Hopkinson Smith
  • So quickly did the forcefulness or ineptitude of four commanders determine the course of events.

    William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose
  • He had found an appearance of forcefulness in the use of violent words.

  • But to a man of his forcefulness and headstrong courage the thought of retreat was maddening.

    The Man in the Twilight Ridgwell Cullum
  • It amply made up in forcefulness anything it lacked in logic.

    The Centralia Conspiracy Ralph Chaplin
  • The strange hand is easily recognizable in the rugged irregularity and forcefulness of the lines.

  • The forcefulness of the "don't" and the "never" have been investigated by education.

  • The idea was expanded in an essay on forcefulness of character.

    Command William McFee
  • His black robe added to the forcefulness of the suggestion and the impression became a part of the song of that church.

British Dictionary definitions for forcefulness


persuasive or effective
Derived Forms
forcefully, adverb
forcefulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for forcefulness



1570s, from force (n.) + -ful. Related: Forcefully; forcefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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