tour de force

[ too r duh fawrs, -fohrs; French toor duh fawrs ]
/ ˌtʊər də ˈfɔrs, -ˈfoʊrs; French tur də ˈfɔrs /

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

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British Dictionary definitions for tour de force

tour de force
/ French (tur də fɔrs, English ˈtʊə də ˈfɔːs) /

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

Culture definitions for tour de force

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.