force 1 of 2


2 of 2


as in manpower
a body of persons at work or available for work the entire force of the shipyard will be needed to get this government order done on time

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in impact
the quality of an utterance that provokes interest and produces an effect expressed the full force of her frustration with her son for his reckless behavior

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in supply
the number of individuals or amount of something available at any given time the great debate during the Cold War was whether the nation's missile force was adequate

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How is the word force different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of force are coerce, compel, constrain, and oblige. While all these words mean "to make someone or something yield," force is the general term and implies the overcoming of resistance by the exertion of strength, power, or duress.

forced to flee for their lives

In what contexts can coerce take the place of force?

The meanings of coerce and force largely overlap; however, coerce suggests overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or pressure.

coerced into signing over the rights

When would compel be a good substitute for force?

While in some cases nearly identical to force, compel typically suggests overcoming of resistance or unwillingness by an irresistible force.

compelled to admit my mistake

When is it sensible to use constrain instead of force?

While the synonyms constrain and force are close in meaning, constrain suggests the effect of a force or circumstance that limits freedom of action or choice.

constrained by conscience

When could oblige be used to replace force?

The words oblige and force are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, oblige implies the constraint of necessity, law, or duty.

felt obliged to go

Thesaurus Entries Near force

Cite this Entry

“Force.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on force

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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