[ fawrs, fohrs ]
/ fɔrs, foʊrs /
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See synonyms for: force / forced / forces / forcing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), forced, forc·ing.
verb (used without object), forced, forc·ing.
to make one's way by force.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Idioms about force

    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 in operation; effective: This ancient rule is no longer in force.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

First recorded in 1250–1300; (noun) Middle English, from Old French, from unattested Vulgar Latin fortia, derivative of Latin fortis “strong”; (verb) Middle English forcen, from Anglo-French, Old French forcer, derivative of the noun

synonym study for force

3. See strength.

historical usage of force

Force has a straightforward, uncomplicated history: the word comes via Old French force from fortia, an unattested Vulgar Latin feminine singular noun from Latin fortia, a neuter plural adjective used as a noun, and derived from the adjective fortis “strong, robust, brave.” Nouns and adjectives that were originally neuter in Latin usually become masculine in Romance (languages descended from Latin): corpus “body,” neuter in Latin, becomes corps in French, corpo in Italian, and cuerpo in Spanish, all masculine nouns. The notable exception is that many Latin neuter plural adjectives and participles ending in -ia become feminine singular nouns in Romance because these neuter plurals end in -a, which looks like the singular of Latin feminine nouns of the first declension, especially if the new noun has an abstract or collective meaning. So appārentia, the neuter plural of Latin appārēns “apparent,” will become apparence in French, apparenza in Italian, apariencia in Spanish, aparança in Catalan, and aparenţă in Romanian; and fortia will become force in French, forza in Italian, fuerza in Spanish, força in Catalan, and forţă in Romanian.



coerce, compel, constrain, force , oblige
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use force in a sentence

  • Similar reasons, and equally forceable, are opposed to the modern pronunciation of wound.

  • Bud disposed of the aristocratic Alfred with a forceable epithet which ought to have made his ears burn.

    Shoe-Bar Stratton|Joseph Bushnell Ames

British Dictionary definitions for force (1 of 2)

/ (fɔːs) /

verb (tr)

Derived forms of force

forceable, adjectiveforceless, adjectiveforcer, nounforcingly, adverb

Word Origin for force

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

British Dictionary definitions for force (2 of 2)

/ (fɔːs) /

(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

Medical definitions for force

[ fôrs ]

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.

Scientific definitions for 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.

Cultural definitions for 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.)

notes for force

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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with force


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.