forced; forces; forcing

Force describes a physical energy that can be seen or felt. If you've ever walked outside in a blizzard, you've experienced the force, or strength, of the wind. May the force be with you!

Force has other meanings as well. A powerful person can exert a force just by using particular words or body language. Written words can exert a force, or have a strong influence, on your opinion. As a verb, force means to make something happen using physical strength or some other powerful effort, which is what you do when you try to force a square peg into a round hole through vigorous pounding. And of course, in the Star Wars movie franchise, the force refers to the mystical energy contained in all living things. May that definition of this word always be with you.

Definitions of force
  1. noun
    (physics) the influence that produces a change in a physical quantity
    force equals mass times acceleration”
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    aerodynamic force
    forces acting on airfoils in motion relative to the air (or other gaseous fluids)
    affinity, chemical attraction
    the force attracting atoms to each other and binding them together in a molecule
    attraction, attractive force
    the force by which one object attracts another
    repulsion, repulsive force
    the force by which bodies repel one another
    centrifugal force
    the outward force on a body moving in a curved path around another body
    centripetal force
    the inward force on a body moving in a curved path around another body
    (physics) the intermolecular force that holds together the molecules in a solid or liquid
    Coriolis force
    (physics) a force due to the earth's rotation; acts on a body in motion (airplane or projectile) in a rotating reference frame; in a rotating frame of reference Newton's second law of motion can be made to apply if in addition to the real forces acting on a body a Coriolis force and a centrifugal force are introduced
    drift, impetus, impulsion
    a force that moves something along
    Lorentz force
    the force experienced by a point charge moving along a wire that is in a magnetic field; the force is at right angles to both the current and the magnetic field
    a turning force produced by an object acting at a distance (or a measure of that force)
    a propelling force
    the force used in pulling
    push, thrust
    the force used in pushing
    (mechanics) the equal and opposite force that is produced when any force is applied to a body
    (physics) force that produces strain on a physical body
    torque, torsion
    a twisting force
    magnetomotive force
    the force that produces magnetic flux
    elan vital, life force, vital force, vitality
    (biology) a hypothetical force (not physical or chemical) once thought by Henri Bergson to cause the evolution and development of organisms
    aerodynamic lift, lift
    the component of the aerodynamic forces acting on an airfoil that opposes gravity
    (immunology) the attraction between an antigen and an antibody
    bond, chemical bond
    an electrical force linking atoms
    gravitation, gravitational attraction, gravitational force, gravity
    (physics) the force of attraction between all masses in the universe; especially the attraction of the earth's mass for bodies near its surface
    moment of inertia
    the tendency of a body to resist angular acceleration
    magnetic attraction, magnetic force, magnetism
    attraction for iron; associated with electric currents as well as magnets; characterized by fields of force
    moment of a couple
    given two equal and opposite forces, the product of the force and the distance between them
    dipole moment
    the moment of a dipole
    magnetic moment, moment of a magnet
    the torque exerted on a magnet or dipole when it is placed in a magnetic field
    nuclear propulsion
    the use of a nuclear reactor either to produce electricity to power an engine (as in a nuclear submarine) or to directly heat a propellant (as in nuclear rockets)
    reaction propulsion
    propulsion that results from the ejection at high velocity of a mass of gas to which the vehicle reacts with an equal and opposite momentum
    (physics) a stress that produces an elongation of an elastic physical body
    breaking point
    the degree of tension or stress at which something breaks
    van der Waal's forces
    relatively weak attraction between neutral atoms and molecules arising from polarization induced in each particle by the presence of other particles
    type of:
    physical phenomenon
    a natural phenomenon involving the physical properties of matter and energy
  2. noun
    physical energy or intensity
    “he hit with all the force he could muster”
    synonyms: forcefulness, strength
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    main force of a blow, etc,
    impulse, momentum
    an impelling force or strength
    energy, vigor, vigour, zip
    forceful exertion
    athleticism, strenuosity
    intense energy
    type of:
    intensity, intensiveness
    high level or degree; the property of being intense
  3. noun
    a powerful effect or influence
    “the force of his eloquence easily persuaded them”
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    a force that compels
    compulsory force or threat
    an animating or vital unifying force
    an essential or life-giving force
    forces that provide energy and direction
    type of:
    a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc
  4. noun
    one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority
    “may the force be with you”
    “the forces of evil”
    synonyms: power
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    juggernaut, steamroller
    a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way
    influence, influencer
    one having power to influence another
    a tyrannical power to be propitiated by human subservience or sacrifice
    type of:
    causal agency, causal agent, cause
    any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results
  5. noun
    (of a law) having legal validity
    synonyms: effect
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    type of:
    validity, validness
    the quality of having legal force or effectiveness
  6. noun
    an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists)
    “he may accomplish by craft in the long run what he cannot do by force and violence in the short one”
    synonyms: violence
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    domestic violence
    violence or physical abuse directed toward your spouse or domestic partner; usually violence by men against women
    road rage
    violence exhibited by drivers in traffic
    public violence, riot
    a public act of violence by an unruly mob
    race riot
    a riot caused by hatred for one another of members of different races in the same community
    type of:
    aggression, hostility
    violent action that is hostile and usually unprovoked
  7. verb
    cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means :"She forced him to take a job in the city"
    synonyms: coerce, hale, pressure, squeeze
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    turn up the heat, turn up the pressure
    apply great or increased pressure
    compel or force or urge relentlessly or exert coercive pressure on, or motivate strongly
    overcome or coerce as if by using a heavy club
    steamroll, steamroller
    bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
    squeeze for
    squeeze someone for money, information, etc.
    dragoon, railroad, sandbag
    compel by coercion, threats, or crude means
    terrorise, terrorize
    coerce by violence or with threats
    bring oneself
    cause to undertake a certain action, usually used in the negative
    type of:
    compel, obligate, oblige
    force somebody to do something
  8. verb
    force into or from an action or state, either physically or metaphorically
    synonyms: drive, ram
    compel somebody to do something, often against his own will or judgment
    compel or force or urge relentlessly or exert coercive pressure on, or motivate strongly
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    toe, toenail
    drive obliquely
    type of:
    push forcefully
  9. verb
    do forcibly; exert force
    “Don't force it!”
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    apply force so as to cause motion towards the source of the motion
    twist, wrench
    twist or pull violently or suddenly, especially so as to remove (something) from that to which it is attached or from where it originates
    draw and bring closer
    exert a force on (a body) causing it to approach or prevent it from moving away
    hike up, hitch up
    pull up
    pick at, pluck at, pull at
    pluck or pull at with the fingers
    draw back, pull back, retract
    use a surgical instrument to hold open (the edges of a wound or an organ)
    draw close
    pull towards oneself
    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
  10. verb
    urge or force (a person) to an action; constrain or motivate
    synonyms: impel
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    type of:
    cause, do, make
    give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally
  11. verb
    impose urgently, importunately, or inexorably
    synonyms: thrust
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    stick, sting
    saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous
    type of:
    compel, obligate, oblige
    force somebody to do something
  12. verb
    move with force
    synonyms: push
    press against forcefully without moving
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    draw, pull
    cause to move by pulling
    apply force so as to cause motion towards the source of the motion
    draw, pull
    cause to move in a certain direction by exerting a force upon, either physically or in an abstract sense
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    nudge, poke at, prod
    push against gently
    press, push
    make strenuous pushing movements during birth to expel the baby
    beat back, drive, force back, push back, repel, repulse
    cause to move back by force or influence
    push roughly
    flick, jerk
    throw or toss with a quick motion
    jostle, shove
    come into rough contact with while moving
    push or move with the nose
    obtrude, push out, thrust out
    push to thrust outward
    push aside, push away
    push out of the way
    muscle into
    force one's way
    push up
    push upward
    push forcefully
    urge forward
    push down forcibly
    shove, squeeze, stuff, thrust
    press or force
    tip, topple, tumble
    cause to topple or tumble by pushing
    dig, jab, poke, prod, stab
    poke or thrust abruptly
    jab, stab
    stab or pierce
    give a slight push to
    push with the shoulders
    shove one's elbow into another person's ribs
    push or shove upward, as if from below or behind
    drive, ram
    force into or from an action or state, either physically or metaphorically
    pound, ram, ram down
    strike or drive against with a heavy impact
    drive forcibly as if by a punch
    lift up or elevate
    boost up
    push upward
    push one's way with the elbows
    shoulder in
    push one's way in with one's shoulders
    thrust down or into
    drive (a team of dogs or a dogsled)
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  13. verb
    cause to move by pulling
    synonyms: draw, pull
    apply force so as to cause motion towards the source of the motion
    draw, pull
    cause to move in a certain direction by exerting a force upon, either physically or in an abstract sense
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    move with force, "He pushed the table into a corner"
    press against forcefully without moving
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    move or pull with a sudden motion
    pull back
    move to a rearward position; pull towards the back
    draw a limb towards the body
    pull away from the body
    pull in opposite directions
    pick, pluck, plunk
    pull lightly but sharply with a plucking motion
    pull or strain hard at
    pull, as against a resistance
    cart, drag, hale, haul
    draw slowly or heavily
    attract, draw, draw in, pull, pull in
    direct toward itself or oneself by means of some psychological power or physical attributes
    jerk, yank
    pull, or move with a sudden movement
    pull or lift up with or as if with a winch
    pick off, pluck, pull off, tweak
    pull or pull out sharply
    draw, pull back
    stretch back a bowstring (on an archer's bow)
    twitch the hook of a fishing line through or along the surface of water
    pluck (strings of an instrument)
    pull hard
    pull along, schlep, shlep
    pull along heavily, like a heavy load against a resistance
    trail, train
    drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground
    bouse, bowse
    haul with a tackle
    arrest, catch, get
    attract and fix
    draw in, retract
    pull inward or towards a center
    pluck with tweezers
    attract the attention of
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  14. verb
    squeeze like a wedge into a tight space
    synonyms: squeeze, wedge
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    press or wedge together; pack together
    compact, compress, pack together
    make more compact by or as if by pressing
    pack, tamp, tamp down
    press down tightly
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  15. verb
    take by force
    synonyms: storm
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    type of:
    penetrate, perforate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
  16. noun
    a group of people having the power of effective action
    “he joined forces with a band of adventurers”
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    type of:
    social group
    people sharing some social relation
  17. noun
    group of people willing to obey orders
    “a public force is necessary to give security to the rights of citizens”
    synonyms: personnel
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    guerilla force, guerrilla force
    an irregular armed force that fights by sabotage and harassment; often rural and organized in large groups
    armed service, military service, service
    a force that is a branch of the armed forces
    armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine
    the military forces of a nation
    paramilitary, paramilitary force, paramilitary organisation, paramilitary organization, paramilitary unit
    a group of civilians organized in a military fashion (especially to operate in place of or to assist regular army troops)
    constabulary, law, police, police force
    the force of police and officers
    private security force, security force
    a privately employed group hired to protect the security of a business or industry
    MP, military police
    a military corps that enforces discipline and guards prisoners
    hands, manpower, men, work force, workforce
    the force of workers available
    a group that goes through a region at regular intervals for the purpose of security
    military personnel, soldiery, troops
    soldiers collectively
    rank, rank and file
    the ordinary members of an organization (such as the enlisted soldiers of an army)
    personnel who assist their superior in carrying out an assigned task
    line personnel
    personnel having direct job performance responsibilities
    management personnel
    personnel having overall planning and direction responsibilities
    the staff of a newspaper or the news department of a periodical
    army, ground forces, regular army
    a permanent organization of the military land forces of a nation or state
    naval forces, navy
    an organization of military vessels belonging to a country and available for sea warfare
    a military service responsible for the safety of maritime traffic in coastal waters
    members of a body of troops trained to serve on land or at sea
    air force, airforce
    the airborne branch of a country's armed forces
    military reserve, reserve
    armed forces that are not on active duty but can be called in an emergency
    (plural) Arab guerrillas who operate mainly against Israel
    Fedayeen Saddam, Saddam's Martyrs
    a feared paramilitary unit formed in 1995 by young soldiers to serve Saddam Hussein against domestic opponents
    European Law Enforcement Organisation, Europol
    police organization for the European Union; aims to improve effectiveness and cooperation among European police forces
    gendarmerie, gendarmery
    French police force; a group of gendarmes or gendarmes collectively
    Mutawa, Mutawa'een
    religious police in Saudi Arabia whose duty is to ensure strict adherence to established codes of conduct; offenders may be detained indefinitely; foreigners are not excluded
    Mounties, RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    the federal police force of Canada
    New Scotland Yard, Scotland Yard
    the detective department of the metropolitan police force of London
    shore patrol
    the military police of the navy
    secret police
    a police force that operates in secrecy (usually against persons suspected of treason or sedition)
    SS, Schutzstaffel
    special police force in Nazi Germany founded as a personal bodyguard for Adolf Hitler in 1925; the SS administered the concentration camps
    complement, full complement
    number needed to make up a whole force
    border patrol
    a group of officers who patrol the borders of a country
    harbor patrol
    patrol of officers who police a harbor area
    office, office staff
    professional or clerical workers in an office
    research staff
    a group of associated research workers in a university or library or laboratory
    sales staff
    those in a business who are responsible for sales
    security staff
    those in an organization responsible for preventing spying or theft
    maintenance staff, service staff
    those in a business responsible for maintaining the physical plant
    troops belonging to or allied with your own military forces
    troops belonging to the enemy's military forces
    cavalry, horse, horse cavalry
    troops trained to fight on horseback
    the troops who maintain and guard a fortified place
    general staff
    military officers assigned to assist a senior officer in planning military policy
    headquarters staff
    military staff stationed at headquarters
    posse, posse comitatus
    a temporary police force
    type of:
    organisation, organization
    a group of people who work together
  18. noun
    a unit that is part of some military service
    “he sent Caesar a force of six thousand men”
    synonyms: military force, military group, military unit
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    trip wire
    a small military force that serves as a first line of defense; if they become engaged in hostilities it will trigger the intervention of stronger military forces
    a military unit or region under the control of a single officer
    an opposing military force
    task force
    a temporary military unit formed to accomplish a particular objective
    army unit
    a military unit that is part of an army
    naval unit
    a military unit that is part of a navy
    air unit
    a military unit that is part of the airforce
    armor, armour
    a military unit consisting of armored fighting vehicles
    mujahadeen, mujahadein, mujahadin, mujahedeen, mujahedin, mujahideen, mujahidin
    a military force of Muslim guerilla warriors engaged in a jihad
    a military unit serving to protect some place or person
    a large military unit
    a body of troops arranged in a line
    a body of troops in close array
    Republican Guard
    formerly Iraq's elite military unit whose primary role was to protect the government in Baghdad
    the clandestine military wing of the Jewish leadership during the British rule over the mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948; became the basis for the Israeli defense force
    IDF, Israeli Defense Force
    the ground and air and naval forces of Israel
    militia, reserves
    civilians trained as soldiers but not part of the regular army
    an amphibious military unit trained for raids into enemy territory
    contingent, detail
    a temporary military unit
    (plural) a military unit consisting of a commander and the headquarters staff
    the leading military unit in an attack
    ACLANT, Allied Command Atlantic
    a major strategic headquarters of NATO located in the United States; is under the authority of the North Atlantic Council
    ACE, Allied Command Europe
    a major strategic headquarters of NATO; safeguards an area extending from Norway to Turkey
    ACC, Air Combat Command
    a command that is the primary provider of air combat weapon systems to the United States Air Force; operates fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, battle-management, and rescue aircraft
    AFSPC, Air Force Space Command
    a command of the United States Air Force that is responsible for defending the United States through its space and intercontinental ballistic missile operations
    Mujahedeen Khalq
    Iranian guerillas based in Iraq
    SA, Storm Troops, Sturmabteilung
    Nazi militia created by Hitler in 1921 that helped him to power but was eclipsed by the SS after 1943
    army corps, corps
    an army unit usually consisting of two or more divisions and their support
    an army unit large enough to sustain combat
    battle group
    an army unit usually consisting of five companies
    army unit smaller than a division
    army unit smaller than a division
    an army unit usually consisting of a headquarters and three or more companies
    small military unit; usually two or three platoons
    a military unit that is a subdivision of a company; usually has a headquarters and two or more squads; usually commanded by a lieutenant
    a small unit of troops of special composition
    van, vanguard
    the leading units moving at the head of an army
    a group of men who escort and protect some important person
    a small army unit usually having a special function
    the smallest army unit
    division, naval division
    a group of ships of similar type
    air division, division
    a unit of the United States Air Force usually comprising two or more wings
    a unit of military aircraft
    air group
    a unit of the United States Air Force larger than a squadron and smaller than a wing
    an air force unit larger than a flight and smaller than a group
    a naval unit that is detached from the fleet for a particular task
    an air force unit smaller than a squadron
    foreign legion
    a military unit composed of foreign volunteers who serve the state
    a group of soldiers
    a cavalry unit corresponding to an infantry company
    a company of militia in England or America from the 16th century to the 18th century
    Sayeret Mat'kal, Sayeret Matkal, sayeret
    Israel's elite secret commando unit responsible for counterterrorist and top secret intelligence gathering and hostage rescue missions
    SAS, Special Air Service
    a specialist regiment of the British army that is trained in commando techniques of warfare and used in clandestine operations (especially against terrorist groups)
    artillery, artillery unit
    an army unit that uses big guns
    musketeers and their muskets collectively
    a highly mobile army unit
    foot, infantry
    an army unit consisting of soldiers who fight on foot
    home guard
    a volunteer unit formed to defend the homeland while the regular army is fighting elsewhere
    territorial, territorial reserve
    a territorial military unit
    type of:
    social unit, unit
    an organization regarded as part of a larger social group
  19. noun
    a putout of a base runner who is required to run; the putout is accomplished by holding the ball while touching the base to which the runner must advance before the runner reaches that base
    “the shortstop got the runner at second on a force
    synonyms: force out, force play, force-out
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    type of:
    an out resulting from a fielding play (not a strikeout)
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘force'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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