Simple Definition of perforce
—used to say that something is necessary or must be done
Full Definition of perforce
1 obsolete : by physical coercion
2 : by force of circumstances
Examples of perforce in a sentence
<we must, perforce, deal with this issue immediately, as procrastination is not an option>
Did You Know?
English speakers borrowed "par force" from Anglo-French in the 14th century. Par meant "by" (from Latin per) and the Anglo-French word force had the same meaning as its English equivalent, which was already in use by then. At first, "perforce" meant quite literally "by physical coercion." That meaning is no longer used today, but it was still prevalent in William Shakespeare's lifetime (1564-1616). "He rush'd into my house and took perforce my ring away," wrote the Bard in The Comedy of Errors. The "force of circumstances" sense of "perforce" had also come into use by Shakespeare's day. In Henry IV, Part 2, we find ". . . your health; the which, if you give o'er to stormy passion, must perforce decay."
Origin and Etymology of perforce
Middle English par force, from Anglo-French, by force
First Known Use: 14th century
Rhymes with perforce
clotheshorse, concourse, crash course, dark horse, dawn horse, dead horse, deforce, discourse, divorce, dray horse, endorse, enforce, extrorse, golf course, gut course, high horse, introrse, iron horse, midcourse, of course, Old Norse, one-horse, packhorse, post-horse, racecourse, racehorse, recourse, redhorse, remorse, resource, retrorse, sawhorse, sea horse, stringcourse, trial horse, unhorse, warhorse, wheelhorse, Whitehorse, workhorse
Learn More about perforce
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perforce
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up perforce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).