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
PERFORCE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of perforce for English Language Learners
—used to say that something is necessary or must be done
Seen and Heard
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