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Meaning of “force” in the English Dictionary

"force" in British English

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forcenoun

uk   /fɔːs/  us   /fɔːrs/
  • force noun (PHYSICAL)

B2 [U] physical, ​especiallyviolent, ​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 ​largenumbers: Photographers were out in force at the White House today
[C or U] specialized in ​scientific use, (a ​measure of) the ​influence that ​changesmovement: the force of ​gravity
combine/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 (= ​badweatherconditions).
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 ​peopleorganized and ​trained, ​especially for a ​particularpurpose: the ​security forces the ​work force He ​joined the police force ​right after ​graduating.
the forces [plural]
the ​militaryorganizations 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 ​drivingregulations are going to come into force this ​year.

forceverb [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 toclosedepartments because of ​lack of ​money. You could ​tell he was having to force back the ​tears (= ​stop himself from ​crying). I didn't ​actuallywant any more ​dessert, but Julia forced it on me (= made me ​accept it). I couldn't ​stay at ​theirflat - 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 ​growfaster by ​artificiallycontrollinggrowingconditions such as the ​amount of ​heat and ​light: forced ​strawberries
force 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 ​urgentproblem or ​matter is ​dealt with now: If the ​management wouldn't ​listen to ​theirdemands, they would have to force the ​issue by ​striking.

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  • force verb [T] (USE PHYSICAL POWER)

C2 to use ​physicalstrength or ​effort to make something ​move or ​open: Move ​yourleg 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"force" in American English

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forcenoun

 us   /fɔrs, foʊrs/
  • force noun (PHYSICAL POWER)

[C/U] physical, often ​violent, ​strength or ​power: [U] The force of the ​windknocked down many ​trees during the ​hurricane. [U] She had to use force to get the ​oldwindowopen.
physics [C/U] A force is a ​power that ​causes an ​object to move or that ​changesmovement.
  • force noun (INFLUENCE)

[C/U] stronginfluence and ​energy, or a ​person with ​stronginfluence and ​energy: [U] The ​sheer force of her words ​kept the ​audienceglued to ​theirseats. [C] He was a ​powerful force in ​nationalpolitics for 30 ​years.
  • force noun (POWER TO CONTROL)

[C/U] power to make someone do something, or to make something ​happen, esp. without ​offering the ​possibility of ​choice: social forces at ​school
  • force noun (MILITARY)

[C] an ​organized and ​trainedmilitarygroup: the ​armed forces the Air Force UN forces ​continue to ​providerelief in the war-torn ​region.
[C] Force is also ​militarystrength.
  • force noun (GROUP)

[C] a ​group of ​people who do the same ​job: a ​sales force the ​police force
[C] If a ​person or ​groupjoins or ​combines forces with another ​person or ​group, they ​agree to ​work together.

forceverb [T]

 us   /fɔrs, foʊrs/
  • force verb [T] (USE PHYSICAL POWER)

to use ​physicalstrength or ​effort to make something move or ​open: If the ​piece won’t ​fit in the ​hole, don’t force it. He forced his way through the ​crowd to ​reach the ​exit.
To force a ​lock, ​door, ​window, etc., is to ​break it in ​order to get in: I ​forgot my ​housekey, so I had to force a ​window.
  • force verb [T] (MAKE DO UNWILLINGLY)

to make someone do something, or make something ​happen, esp. by ​threatening or not ​offering the ​possibility of ​choice: I ​hatestringbeans, so I had to force myself to ​eat them. [+ to infinitive] Anderson was forced to ​leave the ​game with a ​bruisedknee. I didn’t ​actuallywant any more ​dessert, but Julia forced it on me. If ​callers have ​information about the ​crime and would like to give ​theirnames that is ​fine, but we’re not going to force the ​issue (= make them give ​theirnames).
(Definition of force from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"force" in Business English

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forcenoun

uk   us   /fɔːs/
[C, usually singular] a ​person or thing with a lot of ​influence, ​power, or ​energy: a dominant/major/powerful force The ​takeover will ​create a powerful new force in Britain's ​foodretailindustry.commercial/competitive/economic forces Potent ​commercial forces are ​bringing the hydrogen ​economy along faster than anyone ​thought possible.a force for change/good The ​movement of ​work to ​developingeconomies must be a force for good.
[C] a ​group of ​peopleorganized and ​trained for a particular ​purpose: The ​company soon had a sales forcedistributed across ​Europe.
[U] the ​influence or ​authority of something: They made sure the ​ministerfelt the ​full force ofbusiness resentment at the government's new ​workplacelaws. It was not until the summer that the ​advertisingcampaign gained force. These ​buildingcodes do not have the force of ​law.
in force
if ​laws, ​rules, or ​systems are in force, they are being used: The ​noticelists the ​importduties and ​taxescurrently in force.
a force to be reckoned with
a powerful ​person or ​organization with a lot of ​influence: The ​company is fast becoming a force to be ​reckoned with on the ​global telecom scene.
combine/join forces
to ​work with someone in ​order to ​achieve something you both want: The two ​companies, one Dutch the other French, have just ​joined forces to ​exploit the ​Europeanmarket for petfood.
come into/enter into force
when ​laws, ​rules, or ​systems come into force, they ​start being used: The ​finalstage of ​measures to ​improveaccess to ​work for ​disabledemployees comes into force tomorrow.

forceverb [T]

uk   us   /fɔːs/
to make a ​person or an ​organization do something that they do not want to do: force sb/sth to do sth The ​arrival of the new ​supermarket has forced ​localbusinesses to ​raise their ​wages to ​compete.force sb/sth into sth Heavy ​law school ​debtfrequently forces ​graduates into high-paying ​jobs at ​privatefirms, where intense ​deadlines and grinding ​hours are ​routine.force sb/sth into doing sth Customers are being forced into ​banking by ​phone or over the ​internet.
to make something ​happen, especially something that ​people do not want to ​happen: The ​economicslowdown has forced a second week of ​temporaryclosure. The ​government threatened to force an ​agreement between ​banks and ​retailers for a new ​system.
force sb's hand
to make someone do something they do not want to do or do something sooner than they had intended: The ​changingdynamics of the diamond ​business are beginning to force the company's ​hand.
(Definition of force from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“force” in Business English

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