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[per-fawrs, -fohrs]
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  1. of necessity; necessarily; by force of circumstance: The story must perforce be true.
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Origin of perforce

1300–50; per + force; replacing Middle English par force < Middle French
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

involuntarily, weakly, willy-nilly, abandonedly, dependently, feebly

Examples from the Web for perforce

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There we were, and there perforce we must remain till we reached our destination.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Kirkwood acceded, perforce; and bided his time with what tolerance he could muster.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • When he plunged through the doorway, Charlie perforce went right with him.


    Horace Brown Fyfe

  • But his vanity and weakness of character had perforce to triumph!

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • It is part of my punishment, and you, perforce, must bear witness.

British Dictionary definitions for perforce


  1. by necessity; unavoidably
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French par force; see per, force 1
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 perforce


early 14c., par force, from Old French par force (12c.), literally "by force" (see force). With Latin per substituted 17c. for French cognate par.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper