American English

Definition of force verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they force
    he / she / it forces
    past simple forced
    -ing form forcing
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    make someone do something
  1. 1[often passive] to make someone do something that they do not want to do synonym compel force somebody into doing something The President was forced into resigning. force somebody/yourself to do something The President was forced to resign. Iwas forced to take a taxi because the last bus had left. She forced herself to be polite to them. force somebody into something Health problems forced him into early retirement. force somebody He didn't force me—I wanted to go. force yourself (informal) (humorous) “I shouldn't really have any more.” “I guess I could force myself to have another piece of pie.” force something Public pressure managed to force a change in the administration's position.
  2. use physical strength
  3. 2to use physical strength to move someone or something into a particular position force something to force a lock/window/door (= to break it open using force) to force an entry (= to enter a building using force) force something + adv./prep. She forced her way through the crowd of reporters. He tried to force a copy of his book into my hand. force something + adj. The door had been forced open.
  4. make something happen
  5. 3to make something happen, especially before other people are ready force something He was in a position where he had to force a decision. force something + adv./prep. Building a new road here will force home prices down.
  6. a smile/laugh
  7. 4force something to make yourself smile, laugh, etc. rather than doing it naturally She managed to force a smile.
  8. fruit/plants
  9. 5force something to make fruit, plants, etc. grow or develop faster than normal by keeping them in special conditions forced spring bulbs (figurative) It is unwise to force a child's talent.
  10. Word Familyforce noun verbforceful adjectiveforcefully adverbforced adjective (unforced)forcible adjectiveforcibly adverbenforce verbforce noun verbforceful adjectiveforcefully adverbforced adjective (unforced)forcible adjectiveforcibly adverbenforce verbIdioms
    force/thrust/ram something down somebody's throat (informal)
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    to try to force someone to listen to and accept your opinions in a way that they find annoying
    force somebody's hand
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    to make someone do something that they do not want to do or make them do it sooner than they had intended They decided to strike to force the management's hand.
    force the issue
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    to do something to make people take a decision quickly
      force the pace
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    1. 1to run very fast in a race in order to make the other people taking part run faster
    2. 2to make someone do something faster than they want to The demonstrations have succeeded in forcing the pace of change.
    Phrasal Verbsforce somethingbackforce somethingdownforce somebody/something on somebodyforce something out of somebody
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: force