- any force that is postulated to account for apparent deviations from Newton's laws of motion appearing in an accelerated reference system.
Also called pseudo force.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- A physically apparent but nonexistent force felt by an observer in a noninertial frame (that is, a frame undergoing acceleration). Newton's laws of motion hold true within such a reference frame only if the existence of such a force is presumed. The centrifugal force is an example of a pseudo force.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.