force

[fawrs, fohrs]
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noun

verb (used with object), forced, forc·ing.

verb (used without object), forced, forc·ing.

to make one's way by force.

Idioms

    in force,
    1. in operation; effective: This ancient rule is no longer in force.
    2. in large numbers; at full strength: They attacked in force.

Origin of force

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English < Middle French < Vulgar Latin *fortia, derivative of Latin fortis strong; (v.) Middle English forcen < Anglo-French, Old French forcer, derivative of the noun
Related formsforce·a·ble, adjectiveforce·less, adjectiveforc·er, nounforc·ing·ly, adverbin·ter·force, nouno·ver·force, nouno·ver·force, verb, o·ver·forced, o·ver·forc·ing.un·force·a·ble, adjectiveun·forc·ing, adjective
Can be confusedcoerce compel constrain force oblige

Synonyms for force

Synonym study

3. See strength.

Antonyms for force

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for force

Contemporary Examples of force

Historical Examples of force

  • But he admired Hester, and the more she slighted him the more he was determined to force her to like him.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He cannot imagine a more salutary mode of exhausting his force.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He would take her in spite of that; overpower her; force her to go.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • A force exuded from him; indeed, he seemed neither young nor old.

  • But let not any man think of carrying this measure by force.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook


British Dictionary definitions for force

force

1

noun

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
physics
  1. 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
  2. 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
  1. intellectual, social, political, or moral influence or strengththe force of his argument; the forces of evil
  2. 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
  1. (of a law) having legal validity or binding effect
  2. in great strength or numbers
join forces to combine strengths, efforts, etc

verb (tr)

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
cards
  1. to compel (a player) to trump in order to take a trick
  2. to compel a player by the lead of a particular suit to play (a certain card)
  3. (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
Derived Formsforceable, adjectiveforceless, adjectiveforcer, nounforcingly, adverb

Word Origin for force

C13: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin fortia (unattested), from Latin fortis strong

force

2

noun

(in northern England) a waterfall

Word Origin for force

C17: from Old Norse fors
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

Word Origin and History for force
n.

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.

v.

c.1300, from Old French forcier "conquer by violence," from force (see force (n.)). Its earliest sense in English was "to ravish" (a woman); sense of "to compel, oblige" to do something is from c.1400. Related: Forced; forcing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

force in Medicine

force

[fôrs]

n.

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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

force in Science

force

[fôrs]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

force in Culture

force

In physics, something that causes a change in the motion of an object. The modern definition of force (an object's mass multiplied by its acceleration) was given by Isaac Newton in Newton's laws of motion. The most familiar unit of force is the pound. (See mechanics.)

Note

Gravity, and therefore weight, is a kind of force.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with force

force

In addition to the idioms beginning with force

  • force someone's hand
  • force to be reckoned with

also see:

  • brute force
  • driving force
  • in force
  • join forces
  • reckon with (force to be reckoned with)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.