force1 W1S3 [fo:s US fo:rs] n
2¦(military action)¦
4¦(physical power)¦
5¦(natural power)¦
6¦(organized group)¦
7¦(strong influence)¦
8¦(powerful effect)¦
9 join/combine forces (with somebody/something)
10 in force
11 come into force/bring something into force
12 by/through/out of force of habit
13 by/through force of circumstance(s)
16 the forces of good/evil etc
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: Latin fortis 'strong']
1.) ¦(MILITARY)¦
a) [C usually plural]
a group of people who have been trained to do military work for a government or other organization
government/military/defence etc forces
The riots had to be suppressed by government forces.
He strengthened American forces in the Gulf.
a plan to disarm the rebel forces (=those fighting against the government)
b) the forces
BrE the army, navy, and ↑air force
in the forces
Both her sons are in the forces.
c) nuclear/conventional forces
nuclear weapons or ordinary weapons
short-range nuclear forces
→↑air force, armed forces, ground forces,peacekeeping force atpeacekeeping,security forces atsecurity, ↑task force
military action used as a way of achieving your aims
Peace cannot be imposed by force .
The UN will allow the use of force against aircraft violating the zone.
3.) ¦(VIOLENCE)¦[U]
violent physical action used to get what you want
The police used force to overpower the demonstrators.
by force
In the end he had to be thrown out of the house by force.
They kicked the door down using sheer brute force .
the amount of physical power with which something moves or hits another thing
→↑strength force of
The force of the explosion blew out all the windows.
with great/considerable/increasing etc force
He raised his hand and struck her with terrifying force.
5.) ¦(NATURAL POWER)¦ [U and C]
a natural power or event
the force of gravity
powerful natural forces such as earthquakes, floods, and drought
the forces of nature
6.) ¦(ORGANIZED GROUP)¦ [C usually singular]
a group of people who have been trained and organized to do a particular job
the company's sales force
the quality of the teaching force
something or someone who is powerful and has a lot of influence on the way things happen
the driving force (behind sth/sb)
(=the person or thing that makes something happen)
Betty Coward was the driving force behind the project.
a force for change/peace/democracy etc
(=someone or something that makes change, peace etc more likely to happen)
Healthy competition is a force for innovation.
He's a quick and decisive player - a force to be reckoned with (=a person, team, company etc that influences what happens) .
The fall in prices was due to forces beyond their control .
the powerful effect that something has on you
Even after 30 years, the play has lost none of its force.
She was aware of the force of his personality.
9.) join/combine forces (with sb/sth)
to work together so that you can deal with a problem, be more powerful etc
join forces to do sth
Local schools have joined forces with each other to share facilities.
10.) in force
a) if a law, rule etc is in force, it already exists
The trade embargo has been in force for a year.
b) in a large group, especially in order to protest about something
= ↑in large numbers
Villagers turned out in force to protest about the new road.
11.) come into force/bring sth into force
if a new law, rule, change etc comes or is brought into force, it starts to exist
Parking restrictions in the town centre came into force last month.
12.) by/through/out of force of habit
because you have always done a particular thing and it is difficult to change
I get up at 6 o'clock every day from force of habit.
13.) by/through force of circumstance(s)
BrE if something happens by force of circumstance, events outside your control make it happen
14.) ¦(WIND)¦
a) force 8/9/10 etc
a unit for measuring the strength of the wind
b) gale/hurricane force wind
extremely strong wind that does a lot of damage
15.) ¦(POLICE)¦
the force
a word meaning the ↑police force, used especially by police officers
16.) the forces of good/evil etc
literary people or things that increase the amount of good or bad in the world
the battle against the forces of evil
force 2
force2 W1S2 v [T]
1¦(make somebody do something)¦
2¦(make somebody/something move)¦
3 force your way through/into etc something
4¦(make something happen)¦
5 force a door/lock/window
6 force the issue
7 force somebody's hand
8 force a smile/laugh etc
Phrasal verbs
 force something<=>back
 force something<=>down
 force something on/upon somebody
 force something<=>out of somebody
to make someone do something they do not want to do
→↑persuade force sb/yourself to do sth
Government troops have forced the rebels to surrender.
Due to the high cost of borrowing, many companies have been forced to close.
I had to force myself to get up this morning.
force sb/sth into (doing) sth
women who are forced into arranged marriages
Bad health forced him into taking early retirement.
2.) ¦(MAKE SOMEBODY/SOMETHING MOVE)¦ [always + adverb/preposition]
to make someone or something move in a particular direction or into a different position, especially through or using great strength
= ↑push
Westerly gales forced the ship off course.
Firemen entering the building were forced back by flames.
She tried to keep the door shut but the man forced it open .
3.) force your way through/into etc sth also force your way in/out/past etc
to push very hard in order to get somewhere
The doctor forced his way through the crowd.
Demonstrators forced their way past.
to make something happen or change, especially more quickly than planned or expected
the unfortunate events that forced his resignation
We need to force the pace on alternative energy policies.
force prices/interest rates etc down/up
The effect will be to increase unemployment and force down wages.
5.) force a door/lock/window
to open a door etc using physical strength, often causing damage
I forced the lock on the cupboard to see what was inside.
6.) force the issue
to do something that makes it necessary for someone to make decisions or take action, instead of waiting to see what happens
Polly decided to force the issue by demanding an explanation.
7.) force sb's hand
to make someone do something unwillingly or earlier than they had intended
They're reluctant to sell the house yet but the right offer could force their hand.
8.) force a smile/laugh etc
to make yourself smile, laugh etc even though you feel upset or annoyed
force back [force sth<=>back] phr v
to stop yourself from showing that you are upset or frightened, especially with difficulty
Janet forced back her tears .
force down [force sth<=>down] phr v
1.) to make yourself eat or drink something, although you do not want it
I managed to force down a piece of stale bread.
2.) to make a plane land by threatening to attack it
The hijacked plane was forced down by military jets.
force on/upon [force sth on/upon sb] phr v
to make someone do or accept something even though they do not want to
It's no good trying to force a diet on someone.
people who try to force their own views on you
force out of [force sth<=>out of sb] phr v
to make someone tell you something by asking them many times, threatening them etc
I wasn't going to tell Matt but he forced it out of me.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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