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noun \ˈfȯrs\

Simple Definition of force

  • : physical strength, power, or effect

  • : power or violence used on a person or thing

  • : strength or power that is not physical

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of force

  1. 1 a (1) :  strength or energy exerted or brought to bear :  cause of motion or change :  active power <the forces of nature> <the motivating force in her life> (2) capitalized —used with a number to indicate the strength of the wind according to the Beaufort scale <a Force 10 hurricane> b :  moral or mental strength c :  capacity to persuade or convince <the force of the argument>

  2. 2 a :  military strength b (1) :  a body (as of troops or ships) assigned to a military purpose (2) plural :  the whole military strength (as of a nation) c :  a body of persons or things available for a particular end <a labor force> <the missile force> d :  an individual or group having the power of effective action <join forces to prevent violence> <a force in politics> e often capitalized :  police force —usually used with the

  3. 3 :  violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person or thing

  4. 4 a :  an agency or influence that if applied to a free body results chiefly in an acceleration of the body and sometimes in elastic deformation and other effects b :  any of the natural influences (as electromagnetism, gravity, the strong force, and the weak force) that exist especially between particles and determine the structure of the universe

  5. 5 :  the quality of conveying impressions intensely in writing or speech <stated the objectives with force>

forceless play \-ləs\ adjective
in force
  1. 1 :  in great numbers <picnickers were out in force>

  2. 2 :  valid, operative <the ban remains in force>

Examples of force in a sentence

  1. The front of the car took the full force of the collision.

  2. instruments used to measure the force of the wind

  3. The police were accused of using excessive force when they made the arrest.

  4. We discourage the use of force.

  5. He used brute force to open the door.

  6. I was impressed by the force of her personality.

Origin of force

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *fortia, from Latin fortis strong

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of force

power, authority, jurisdiction, control, command, sway, dominion mean the right to govern or rule or determine. power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence <the power to mold public opinion>. authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits <granted the authority to manage her estate>. jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits <the bureau having jurisdiction over parks>. control stresses the power to direct and restrain <you are responsible for the students under your control>. command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience <the army officer in command>. sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence <the empire extended its sway over the region>. dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority <given dominion over all the animals>.

power, force, energy, strength, might mean the ability to exert effort. power may imply latent or exerted physical, mental, or spiritual ability to act or be acted upon <the awesome power of flowing water>. force implies the actual effective exercise of power <used enough force to push the door open>. energy applies to power expended or capable of being transformed into work <a worker with boundless energy>. strength applies to the quality or property of a person or thing that makes possible the exertion of force or the withstanding of strain, pressure, or attack <use weight training to build your strength>. might implies great or overwhelming power or strength <the belief that might makes right>.

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms

Rhymes with force




Simple Definition of force

  • : to make (someone) do something that he or she does not want to do

  • : to make it necessary for (someone) to do something

  • : to make (something) necessary

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of force


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to do violence to; especially :  rape

  3. 2 :  to compel by physical, moral, or intellectual means

  4. 3 :  to make or cause especially through natural or logical necessity <forced to admit my error> <the last minute goal forced overtime>

  5. 4 a :  to press, drive, pass, or effect against resistance or inertia <force your way through> b :  to impose or thrust urgently, importunately, or inexorably <force unwanted attentions on a coworker>

  6. 5 :  to achieve or win by strength in struggle or violence: as a :  to win one's way into <force a castle> <forced the mountain passes> b :  to break open or through <force a lock>

  7. 6 a :  to raise or accelerate to the utmost <forcing the pace> b :  to produce only with unnatural or unwilling effort <forced a smile> c :  to wrench, strain, or use (language) with marked unnaturalness and lack of ease

  8. 7 a :  to hasten the rate of progress or growth of b :  to bring (as plants) to maturity out of the normal season <forcing lilies for Easter>

  9. 8 :  to induce (as a particular bid or play by another player) in a card game by some conventional act, play, bid, or response

  10. 9 a :  to cause (a runner in baseball) to be put out on a force-out b :  to cause (a run) to be scored in baseball by giving a base on balls when the bases are full

forcer noun
force one's hand
  1. :  to cause one to act precipitously :  force one to reveal one's purpose or intention

Examples of force in a sentence

  1. They forced us to work long hours without pay.

  2. The flooding forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes.

  3. After seeing the evidence, I was forced to admit my error.

  4. I am forced to conclude that more funding will be necessary.

  5. The pilot was forced to land when one of the plane's engines caught fire.

  6. The scandal forced his resignation.

  7. Lack of time may eventually force a compromise.

  8. They are trying to force a vote on this issue.

  9. The runner was forced out of bounds.

  10. Their car was forced off the road.

14th Century

First Known Use of force

14th century

Synonym Discussion of force

force, compel, coerce, constrain, oblige mean to make someone or something yield. force is the general term and implies the overcoming of resistance by the exertion of strength, power, or duress <forced to flee for their lives>. compel typically suggests overcoming of resistance or unwillingness by an irresistible force <compelled to admit my mistake>. coerce suggests overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or pressure <coerced into signing over the rights>. constrain suggests the effect of a force or circumstance that limits freedom of action or choice <constrained by conscience>. oblige implies the constraint of necessity, law, or duty <felt obliged to go>.

FORCE Defined for Kids



noun \ˈfȯrs\

Definition of force for Students

  1. 1 :  power that has an effect on something <the force of the wind> <the force of her personality>

  2. 2 :  the state of existing and being enforced <That law is still in force.>

  3. 3 :  a group of people available for a particular purpose <a police force> <the work force>

  4. 4 :  power or violence used on a person or thing <He opened the door by force.>

  5. 5 :  an influence (as a push or pull) that tends to produce a change in the speed or direction of motion of something <the force of gravity>




Definition of force for Students


  1. 1 :  to make someone or something do something <His tribe … had been forced to leave Utah … — John Reynolds Gardiner, Stone Fox>

  2. 2 :  to get, make, or move by using physical power <Police forced their way into the room.>

  3. 3 :  to break open using physical power <We forced the door.>

  4. 4 :  to speed up the development of <I'm forcing flower bulbs.>

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈfō(ə)rs, ˈfȯ(ə)rs\

Medical Definition of force

  1. :  an agency or influence that if applied to a free body results chiefly in an acceleration of the body and sometimes in elastic deformation and other effects

Law Dictionary




Legal Definition of force

  1. 1 :  a cause of motion, activity, or change intervening force :  a force that acts after another's negligent act or omission has occurred and that causes injury to another :  intervening cause at cause irresistible force :  an unforeseeable event especially that prevents performance of an obligation under a contract :  force majeure

  2. 2 :  a body of persons available for a particular end <the labor force>; specifically :  police force —usually used with the

  3. 3 :  violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person or thing constructive force :  the use of threats or intimidation for the purpose of gaining control over or preventing resistance from another deadly force :  force that is intended to cause or that carries a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury — compare nondeadly force in this entry Editor's note: As a general rule, deadly force may be used without incurring criminal or tort liability when one reasonably believes that one's life or safety is in danger. In some cases, a person's unreasonable belief in the need for deadly force has been used to justify reducing a charge of murder to voluntary manslaughter. Additionally, a police officer is generally justified in using deadly force to prevent the escape of a suspect who threatens the officer or who the officer has probable cause to believe has committed a violent crime. lawful force :  force that is considered justified under the law and does not create criminal or tort liability — compare unlawful force in this entry moderate force \ˈmä-də-rət-\ :  nondeadly force in this entry nondeadly force :  force that is intended to cause minor bodily injury; also :  a threat (as by the brandishing of a gun) to use deadly force —called also moderate force — compare deadly force in this entry reasonable force :  Lawful force that is reasonably necessary to accomplish a particular end (as preventing theft of one's property) unlawful force :  force that is not justified under the law and therefore is considered a tort or crime or both — compare lawful force in this entry

in force
  1. :  valid and operative <a life insurance policy in force>



transitive verb

Legal Definition of force


  1. 1a :  to compel by physical means often against resistance <forced him into the car> b :  to break open or through <forced the door> — see also forcible entry

  2. 2 :  to impose or require by law — see also elective share, forced heir at heir, forced sale at sale

Seen and Heard

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to dishevel or rumple

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