force someone's hand

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of force someone's hand

: to make it necessary for someone to do something
  • She'd intended to postpone her decision, but events forced her hand.

Word by Word Definitions

force play
  1. : strength or energy exerted or brought to bear : cause of motion or change : active power

  2. used with a number to indicate the strength of the wind according to the Beaufort scale

  3. : moral or mental strength

  1. : to do violence to

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

  3. : to make or cause especially through natural or logical necessity

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

hand play
  1. : the terminal part of the vertebrate forelimb when modified (as in humans) as a grasping organ : the body part at the end of the arm of a human, ape, or monkey

  2. : the forelimb segment (such as the terminal section of a bird's wing) of a vertebrate higher than the fishes that corresponds to the hand irrespective of its form or functional specialization

  3. : a part serving the function of or resembling a hand: such as

  1. : with the hands rather than by machine

  1. : to touch or manage with the hands

  2. : furl

  3. : to lead, guide, or assist with the hand


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