Definition of force verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fɔːs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrs//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they force
    BrE BrE//fɔːs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrs//
    he / she / it forces
    BrE BrE//ˈfɔːsɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːrsɪz//
    past simple forced
    BrE BrE//fɔːst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrst//
    past participle forced
    BrE BrE//fɔːst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːrst//
    -ing form forcing
    BrE BrE//ˈfɔːsɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːrsɪŋ//
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    make somebody do something
  1. 1  [often passive] to make somebody 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. I was forced to take a taxi because the last bus had left. She forced herself to be polite to them. force somebody into something Ill health 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.’ ‘Go on—force yourself!’ force something Public pressure managed to force a change in the government's position.
  2. use physical strength
  3. 2  to use physical strength to move somebody/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 house 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 rhubarb (figurative) It is unwise to force a child's talent.
  10. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French force (noun), forcer (verb), based on Latin fortis ‘strong’.Word Familyforce noun verbforceful adjectiveforcefully adverbforced adjective (unforced)forcible adjectiveforcibly adverbenforce verbExtra examples After waiting for some minutes they decided to force the door. He didn’t force me— I wanted to go. He forced the lid of his suitcase shut. I managed to force him backwards. Public pressure managed to force a change in the government’s position. She forced her way through the crowds. Someone had tried to force an entry. We had to force the lock.Idioms
    force/thrust/ram something down somebody’s throat
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    (informal) to try to force somebody to listen to and accept your opinions in a way that they find annoying
    force somebody’s hand
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    to make somebody 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.
    to do something to make people take a decision quickly
      force the pace (especially British English)
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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 somebody do something faster than they want to The demonstrations have succeeded in forcing the pace of change.
    Phrasal Verbsforce somethingbackforce somethingdownforce somebody on somebodyforce something out of somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: force