force definition, meaning - what is force in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “force”

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noun uk   /fɔːs/  us   /fɔːrs/

force noun (PHYSICAL)

B2 [U] physical, especially violent, strength, or power: The force of the wind had brought down a great many trees in the area. She slapped his face with unexpected force. Teachers aren't allowed to use force in the classroom. The police were able to control the crowd by sheer force of numbers (= because there were more police than there were people in the crowd).in force in large numbers: Photographers were out in force at the White House today [C or U] specialized in scientific use, (a measure of) the influence that changes movement: the force of gravitycombine/join forces C2 to work with someone else in order to achieve something that you both want
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force noun (INFLUENCE)

C2 [C or U] (a person or thing with a lot of) influence and energy: He was a powerful force in politics. Fishermen are always at the mercy of the forces of nature (= bad weather conditions).a force to be reckoned with C2 If an organization or a person is described as a force to be reckoned with, it means that they are powerful and have a lot of influence: The United Nations is now a force to be reckoned with.force of habit If you do something out of force of habit, you do it without thinking because you have done it so many times before.
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force noun (GROUP)

B2 [C] a group of people organized and trained, especially for a particular purpose: the security forces the work force He joined the police force right after graduating.the forces [plural] the military organizations for air, land, and sea
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force noun (IN OPERATION)

in/into force
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C2 (of laws, rules, or systems) existing and being used: New driving regulations are going to come into force this year.


verb [T] uk   /fɔːs/  us   /fɔːrs/

force verb [T] (GIVE NO CHOICE)

B2 to make something happen or make someone do something difficult, unpleasant, or unusual, especially by threatening or not offering the possibility of choice: [+ to infinitive] I really have to force myself to be nice to him. [+ to infinitive] You can't force her to make a decision. Hospitals are being forced to close departments because of lack of money. You could tell he was having to force back the tears (= stop himself from crying). I didn't actually want any more dessert, but Julia forced it on me (= made me accept it). I couldn't stay at their flat - I'd feel as if I was forcing myself on them (= making them allow me to stay). You never tell me how you're feeling - I have to force it out of you (= make you tell me)! specialized biology, food & drink If plants or vegetables are forced, they are made to grow faster by artificially controlling growing conditions such as the amount of heat and light: forced strawberriesforce a laugh/smile to manage, with difficulty, to laugh or smile: I managed to force a smile as they were leaving.force an/the issue to take action to make certain that an urgent problem or matter is dealt with now: If the management wouldn't listen to their demands, they would have to force the issue by striking.
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force verb [T] (USE PHYSICAL POWER)

C2 to use physical strength or effort to make something move or open: Move your leg up gently when you're doing this exercise, but don't force it. If you force the zip, it'll break. She forced her way through the crowd. to break a lock, door, window, etc. in order to allow someone to get in: I forgot my key, so I had to force a window. [+ adj] The police had forced open the door because nobody had answered. The burglar forced an entry (= broke a window, door, etc. to get into the house).
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(Definition of force from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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