perforce

adverb per·force \ pər-ˈfȯrs \

Definition of perforce

1 obsolete : by physical coercion
2 : by force of circumstances

perforce was our Word of the Day on 03/21/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of perforce in a Sentence

  1. we must, perforce, deal with this issue immediately, as procrastination is not an option

Recent Examples of perforce from the Web

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

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

perforce Synonyms


PERFORCE Defined for English Language Learners

perforce

adverb

Definition of perforce for English Language Learners

  • —used to say that something is necessary or must be done



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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to make fruitful or productive

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!