force ( forces plural & 3rd person present) ( forcing present participle) ( forced past tense & past participle )
1 verb If someone forces you to do something, they make you do it even though you do not want to, for example by threatening you.
He was forced to resign by Russia's conservative parliament... V n to-inf
I cannot force you in this. You must decide... V n
They were grabbed by three men who appeared to force them into a car. V n prep/adv
2 verb If a situation or event forces you to do something, it makes it necessary for you to do something that you would not otherwise have done.
A back injury forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon... V n to-inf
He turned right, down a dirt road that forced him into four-wheel drive... V n into/to/out of n
She finally was forced to the conclusion that she wouldn't get another paid job in her field. V n into/to/out of n
3 verb If someone forces something on or upon you, they make you accept or use it when you would prefer not to.
To force this agreement on the nation is wrong. V n on/upon n
4 verb If you force something into a particular position, you use a lot of strength to make it move there.
They were forcing her head under the icy waters, drowning her. V n prep/adv
5 verb If someone forces a lock, a door, or a window, they break the lock or fastening in order to get into a building without using a key.
That evening police forced the door of the flat and arrested Mr Roberts... V n
He tried to force the window open but it was jammed shut. V n adj
6 n-uncount If someone uses force to do something, or if it is done by force, strong and violent physical action is taken in order to achieve it.
The government decided against using force to break-up the demonstrations., ...the guerrillas' efforts to seize power by force.
7 n-uncount Force is the power or strength which something has.
The force of the explosion shattered the windows of several buildings...
8 n-count If you refer to someone or something as a force in a particular type of activity, you mean that they have a strong influence on it.
with supp, oft N in/behind n
For years the army was the most powerful political force in the country..., One of the driving forces behind this recent expansion is the growth of services.
9 n-uncount The forceof something is the powerful effect or quality that it has.
oft N of n
He changed our world through the force of his ideas...
10 n-count You can use forces to refer to processes and events that do not appear to be caused by human beings, and are therefore difficult to understand or control.
usu pl, usu with supp
...the protection of mankind against the forces of nature: epidemics, predators, floods, hurricanes..., The principle of market forces was applied to some of the countries most revered institutions...
11 n-var In physics, a force is the pulling or pushing effect that something has on something else.
...the earth's gravitational force., ...protons and electrons trapped by magnetic forces in the Van Allen belts.
12 n-uncount Force is used before a number to indicate a wind of a particular speed or strength, especially a very strong wind.
Northerly winds will increase to force six by midday.
13 verb If you force a smile or a laugh, you manage to smile or laugh, but with an effort because you are unhappy.
Joe forced a smile, but underneath he was a little disturbed... V n
`Why don't you offer me a drink?' he asked, with a forced smile. V-ed
14 n-count Forces are groups of soldiers or military vehicles that are organized for a particular purpose.
...the deployment of American forces in the region.
15 n-plural Theforces means the army, the navy, or the air force, or all three.
The more senior you become in the forces, the more likely you are to end up in a desk job.
16 n-sing Theforce is sometimes used to mean the police force.
It was hard for a police officer to make friends outside the force.
tour de force
18 If you do something fromforce of habit, you do it because you have always done it in the past, rather than because you have thought carefully about it.
force of habit phrase usu from/by PHR
Unconsciously, by force of habit, she plugged the coffee pot in.
19 A law, rule, or system that is in force exists or is being used.
in force phrase v-link PHR
Although the new tax is already in force, you have until November to lodge an appeal.
20 When people do something in force, they do it in large numbers.
in force phrase PHR after v
Voters turned out in force for their first taste of multi-party elections.
21 If you join forceswith someone, you work together in order to achieve a common aim or purpose.
join forces phrase V inflects, pl-n PHR, PHR with n
William joined forces with businessman Nicholas Court to launch the new vehicle.
22 If you force your waythrough or into somewhere, you have to push or break things that are in your way in order to get there.
force one's way somewhere phrase V inflects, oft PHR through/into n
The miners were armed with clubs as they forced their way through a police cordon..., He forced his way into a house shouting for help.
to force someone's hand
hand force back phrasal verb If you force back an emotion or desire, you manage, with an effort, not to experience it.
Nancy forced back tears. She wasn't going to cry in front of all those people. V P n (not pron), Also V n P