- physical power or strength possessed by a living being: He used all his force in opening the window.
- strength or power exerted upon an object; physical coercion; violence: to use force to open the window; to use force on a person.
- strength; energy; power; intensity: a personality of great force.
- power to influence, affect, or control; efficacious power: the force of circumstances; a force for law and order.
- Law. unlawful violence threatened or committed against persons or property.
- persuasive power; power to convince: They felt the force of his arguments.
- mental or moral strength: force of character.
- might, as of a ruler or realm; strength for war.
- Often forces. the military or fighting strength, especially of a nation.
- any body of persons combined for joint action: a sales force.
- intensity or strength of effect: the force of her acting.
- an influence on a body or system, producing or tending to produce a change in movement or in shape or other effects.
- the intensity of such an influence. Symbol: F, f
- any influence or agency analogous to physical force: social forces.
- binding power, as of a contract.
- Baseball. force play.
- value; significance; meaning.
- Billiards. a stroke in which the cue ball is forcibly struck directly below the center in such a manner as to cause it to stop abruptly, bound back, or roll off to one side after hitting the object ball.
- to compel, constrain, or oblige (oneself or someone) to do something: to force a suspect to confess.
- to drive or propel against resistance: He forced his way through the crowd. They forced air into his lungs.
- to bring about or effect by force.
- to bring about of necessity or as a necessary result: to force a smile.
- to put or impose (something or someone) forcibly on or upon a person: to force one's opinions on others.
- to compel by force; overcome the resistance of: to force acceptance of something.
- to obtain or draw forth by or as if by force; extort: to force a confession.
- to enter or take by force; overpower: They forced the town after a long siege.
- to break open (a door, lock, etc.).
- to cause (plants, fruits, etc.) to grow or mature at an increased rate by artificial means.
- to press, urge, or exert (an animal, person, etc.) to violent effort or to the utmost.
- to use force upon.
- to rape.
- to cause (a base runner) to be put out by obliging the runner, as by a ground ball, to vacate a base and attempt to move to the next base in order to make room for another runner or the batter.
- to cause (a base runner or run) to score, as by walking a batter with the bases full (often followed by in).
- to compel (a player) to trump by leading a suit of which the player has no cards.
- to compel a player to play (a particular card).
- to compel (a player) to play so as to make known the strength of the hand.
- to develop (a print or negative) for longer than usual in order to increase density or bring out details.
- to bring out underexposed parts of (a print or negative) by adding alkali to the developer.
- Archaic. to give force to; strengthen; reinforce.
- to make one's way by force.
- in force,
- in operation; effective: This ancient rule is no longer in force.
- in large numbers; at full strength: They attacked in force.
Origin of force
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- strength or energy; might; powerthe force of the blow; a gale of great force
- exertion or the use of exertion against a person or thing that resists; coercion
- a dynamic influence that changes a body from a state of rest to one of motion or changes its rate of motion. The magnitude of the force is equal to the product of the mass of the body and its acceleration
- a static influence that produces an elastic strain in a body or system or bears weightSymbol: F
- physics any operating influence that produces or tends to produce a change in a physical quantityelectromotive force; coercive force
- intellectual, social, political, or moral influence or strengththe force of his argument; the forces of evil
- a person or thing with such influencehe was a force in the land
- vehemence or intensityhe spoke with great force
- a group of persons organized for military or police functionsarmed forces
- the force (sometimes capital) informal the police force
- a group of persons organized for particular duties or tasksa workforce
- criminal law violence unlawfully committed or threatened
- philosophy logic that which an expression is normally used to achieveSee speech act, illocution, perlocution
- in force
- (of a law) having legal validity or binding effect
- in great strength or numbers
- join forces to combine strengths, efforts, etc
- to compel or cause (a person, group, etc) to do something through effort, superior strength, etc; coerce
- to acquire, secure, or produce through effort, superior strength, etcto force a confession
- to propel or drive despite resistanceto force a nail into wood
- to break down or open (a lock, safe, door, etc)
- to impose or inflicthe forced his views on them
- to cause (plants or farm animals) to grow or fatten artificially at an increased rate
- to strain or exert to the utmostto force the voice
- to rape; ravish
- to compel (a player) to trump in order to take a trick
- to compel a player by the lead of a particular suit to play (a certain card)
- (in bridge) to induce (a bid) from one's partner by bidding in a certain way
- force a smile to make oneself smile
- force down to compel an aircraft to land
- force the pace to adopt a high speed or rate of procedure
- (in northern England) a waterfall
Word Origin and History for in force
c.1300, "physical strength," from Old French force (12c.) "force, strength, courage, fortitude; violence, power, compulsion," from Vulgar Latin *fortia (cf. Spanish fuerza, Italian forza), noun use of neuter plural of Latin fortis "strong" (see fort). Meaning "body of armed men, army" first recorded late 14c. (also in Old French). Physics sense is from 1660s; force field attested by 1920.
- The capacity to do work or cause physical change; energy, strength, or active power.
- A vector quantity that tends to produce an acceleration of a body in the direction of its application.
- Any of various factors that cause a body to change its speed, direction, or shape. Force is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction. Contributions of force from different sources can be summed to give the net force at any given point.
- Any of the four natural phenomena involving the interaction between particles of matter. From the strongest to the weakest, the four forces are the strong nuclear force, the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and gravity.
Idioms and Phrases with in force
In full strength, in large numbers, as in Demonstrators were out in force. This usage originally alluded to a large military force. [Early 1300s]
Operative, binding, as in This rule is no longer in force. This usage originally alluded to the binding power of a law. [Late 1400s]