force majeure

play
noun force ma·jeure \ˌfȯrs-mä-ˈzhər, -mə-\

Definition of force majeure

  1. 1 :  superior or irresistible force

  2. 2 :  an event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled — compare act of god

force majeure was our Word of the Day on 04/25/2013. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Force majeure translates literally from French as superior force. In English, the term is often used in line with its literal French meaning, but it has other uses as well, including one that has roots in a principle of French law. In business circles, "force majeure" describes those uncontrollable events (such as war, labor stoppages, or extreme weather) that are not the fault of any party and that make it difficult or impossible to carry out normal business. A company may insert a force majeure clause into a contract to absolve itself from liability in the event it cannot fulfill the terms of a contract (or if attempting to do so will result in loss or damage of goods) for reasons beyond its control.

Origin and Etymology of force majeure

French, superior force


First Known Use: 1883


Law Dictionary

force majeure

play
noun force ma·jeure \ˈfȯrs-ma-ˈzhər, -mȧ-ˈzhœ̅r\

Legal Definition of force majeure

  1. 1 :  superior or insuperable force

  2. 2 :  an event (as war, labor strike, or extreme weather) or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled :  fortuitous event — compare act of god, inevitable accident

Origin and Etymology of force majeure

French, superior force

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