force·​ful | \ˈfȯrs-fəl \

Definition of forceful 

: possessing or filled with force : effective a forceful argument

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Other Words from forceful

forcefully \ˈfȯrs-​fə-​lē \ adverb
forcefulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for forceful


firm, hearty, iron, lusty, robust, solid, stout, strong, sturdy, vigorous


uncertain, weak

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Examples of forceful in a Sentence

He has a very forceful personality. She's a confident and forceful leader. They have made a forceful argument in favor of changing the system. The government has threatened to use more forceful measures if necessary.
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Recent Examples on the Web

MacArthur was a forceful defender of the bill and his provision, even standing for hours at a town hall to take questions from constituents. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The 2 House Republicans who put it all on the line for Obamacare repeal could lose Tuesday," 5 Nov. 2018 The night before, what started as a consensual experience had turned forceful. Amandla Stenberg, Teen Vogue, "Amandla Stenberg Writes About Her Sexual Assaults," 6 Oct. 2018 Here’s James Vincent in The Verge: Speaking at a privacy conference in Brussels, Cook gave an impassioned and forceful speech. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How China complicates Apple’s chest-thumping about privacy," 25 Oct. 2018 Some Russian lawmakers and retired military officers called for a forceful response, saying Russia should provide Syria with the S-300 air defense systems and other sophisticated weapons to prevent any further strikes. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Seattle Times, "Putin seeks to defuse downing of Russian plane off Syria," 18 Sep. 2018 Again, the scenes with Hawke, Cedric, and Gaston are improbably tense, in part because each character is given a rich and forceful voice in a way that has become increasingly rare in modern movies. Gary Thompson,, "'First Reformed': Ethan Hawke's excellent turn as a conflicted reverend has a 'bonkers' ending," 31 May 2018 But the president’s swift and forceful initial response certainly felt unusual in a climate where university officials are often reticent and hyper-careful in discussions of personnel matters, especially when politics are involved. Anna North, Vox, "Conservatives keep sparking “free speech” battles. When a Muslim professor tweeted about racism, guess what happened?," 24 Apr. 2018 The public’s comments surrounding the the police chief resolution were even more forceful. Talia Richman,, "Should the Anne Arundel County Council get to approve the county executive's pick for police chief?," 3 July 2018 The legislation, which Corker released with a total of nine Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, is the most forceful congressional response to date to Trump’s protectionist trade agenda. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Why Bernie Sanders won’t join the Democratic Party," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forceful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of forceful

1571, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for forceful

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forceful

The first known use of forceful was in 1571

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More Definitions for forceful



English Language Learners Definition of forceful

: having a strong and confident quality

: expressed in a way that is effective and that influences people's thoughts and ideas

: done with military or physical force


force·​ful | \ˈfȯrs-fəl \

Kids Definition of forceful

: having much strength : vigorous forceful action a forceful speech

Other Words from forceful

forcefully \-​fə-​lē \ adverb
forcefulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on forceful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forceful

Spanish Central: Translation of forceful

Nglish: Translation of forceful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on forceful

What made you want to look up forceful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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