tour de force

[too r duh fawrs, -fohrs; French toor duh fawrs]

noun, plural tours de force [too rz duh fawrs, -fohrs; French toor duh fawrs] /ˌtʊərz də ˈfɔrs, -ˈfoʊrs; French tur də ˈfɔrs/.

an exceptional achievement by an artist, author, or the like, that is unlikely to be equaled by that person or anyone else; stroke of genius: Herman Melville's Moby Dick was a tour de force.
a particularly adroit maneuver or technique in handling a difficult situation: The way the president got his bill through the Senate was a tour de force.
a feat requiring unusual strength, skill, or ingenuity.

Origin of tour de force

1795–1805; < French: feat of strength or skill Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tour de force

Historical Examples of tour de force

British Dictionary definitions for tour de force

tour de force

noun plural tours de force (tur, English ˈtʊə)

a masterly or brilliant stroke, creation, effect, or accomplishment

Word Origin for tour de force

literally: feat of skill or strength
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 tour de force

1802, French, "feat of strength."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tour de force in Culture

tour de force

[(toor duh fawrs)]

A feat accomplished through great skill and ability: “The speech was a tour de force; it swept the audience off its feet.”

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.