- 1[uncountable] violent physical action used to obtain or achieve something The release of the hostages could not be achieved without the use of force. The rioters were taken away by force. The ultimatum contained the threat of military force. We will achieve much more by persuasion than by brute force. plans to seize power by force of arms (= by military force) physical strength
- 2 [uncountable] the physical strength of something that is shown as it hits something else the force of the blow/explosion/collision The shopping mall took the full force of the blast. She hits the ball with amazing force for someone so small. strong effect
- 3[uncountable] the strong effect or influence of something They realized the force of her argument. He controlled himself by sheer force of will. She spoke with force and deliberation. someone or something with power
- 4[countable] a person or thing that has a lot of power or influence economic/market forces the forces of good/evil Ron is the driving force (= the person who has the most influence) behind the project. She's a force to be reckoned with (= a person who has a lot of power and influence and should therefore be treated seriously). The expansion of higher education should be a powerful force for change. Television has become a major force in American political life. He was finally defeated by forces beyond his control. authority
- 5 [uncountable] the authority of something These guidelines do not have the force of law. The court ruled that these standards have force in civil law. The culprits must expect to face the full force of the law. group of people
- 6[countable] a group of people who have been organized for a particular purpose a member of the sales force A large proportion of the labor force (= all the people who work in a particular company, area, etc.) is unskilled. see also workforce military
- 7[countable] a group of people who have been trained to protect other people, usually by using weapons a member of the security forces rebel/government forces a peace-keeping force see also air force, police force, task force
- 8forces [plural] the weapons and soldiers that an army, etc. has, considered as things that may be used strategic nuclear forces. police
- 9 the force [singular] the police force He joined the force twenty years ago. physics
- 10[countable, uncountable] an effect that causes things to move in a particular way The moon exerts a force on the earth. the force of gravity magnetic/centrifugal force of wind
- 11[countable, usually singular] a unit for measuring the strength of the wind a force 9 gale a gale force wind see also tour de force Word Familyforce noun verbforceful adjectiveforcefully adverbforced adjective (≠unforced)forcible adjectiveforcibly adverbenforce verbIdioms
- 1(of people) in large numbers Protesters turned out in force.
- 2(of a law, rule, etc.) being used The new regulations are now in force.
nounjump to other results
to cause a law, rule, etc. to start being used They are hoping to bring the new legislation into force before the end of the year.
bring something into forcejump to other results
(of a law, rule, etc.) to start being used When do the new regulations come into force?
come/enter into forcejump to other results
if you do something from or out of force of habit, you do it automatically and in a particular way because you have always done it that way in the past It's force of habit that gets me out of bed at 6:15 each morning.
force of habitjump to other results
the power of the wind, rain, etc., especially when it causes damage or harm They were fighting a losing battle against the forces of nature.
the forces of naturejump to other results
in forcejump to other results
to work together in order to achieve a shared aim The two firms joined forces to win the contract.
join/combine forces (with somebody)jump to other results
a person or group that no longer has any power or influence The opposition party is now a spent political force.
a spent forcejump to other results