I. force force 1 [fɔːs ǁ fɔːrs] noun
1. [countable] a group of people who have been trained and organized for a particular purpose:

• Our division has expanded its sales force (= the people in a company who sell the company's products ) to 160.

ˈlabour force , labor force [countable]
all the people who work for a company or in a country:

• Out of Minnesota's labor force of 2.1 million, only 110,000 are reckoned to be earning the minimum wage.

ˈtask force [countable]
a group formed for a short time to deal with a particular problem:

• Management gave a task force only five months to do two years of research-and-development work.

2. in force LAW if a law or rule is in force, it exists and must be obeyed:

• These regulations have been in force since 1997.

• New EU directives come into force (= start to operate ) in April.

3. [countable usually singular] something or someone that has a strong influence on an activity or the way events develop:

• She is the driving force (= person or thing that has the strongest influence on the way things happen ) behind the group's creation.

• The group is certainly a force to be reckoned with (= has a lot of power and influence ) in the publishing industry.

US /fɔːs/ noun
[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 food retail industry.

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 developing economies must be a force for good.

[C] a group of people organized and trained for a particular purpose: »

The company soon had a sales force distributed across Europe.

[U] the influence or authority of something: »

They made sure the minister felt the full force of business resentment at the government's new workplace laws.


It was not until the summer that the advertising campaign gained force.


These building codes do not have the force of law.

See also DRIVING FORCE(Cf. ↑driving force), LABOUR FORCE(Cf. ↑labour force), MARKET FORCES(Cf. ↑market forces), SALES FORCE(Cf. ↑sales force), TASK FORCE(Cf. ↑task force), WORKFORCE(Cf. ↑workforce)
in force — Cf. in force
a force to be reckoned with — Cf. a force to be reckoned with
combine/join forces — Cf. join forces
come into/enter into force — Cf. enter into force
force UK US /fɔːs/ verb [T]
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 local businesses to raise their wages to compete.

force sb/sth into sth »

Heavy law school debt frequently forces graduates into high-paying jobs at private firms, 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 economic slowdown has forced a second week of temporary closure.


The government threatened to force an agreement between banks and retailers for a new system.

force sb's hand — Cf. force sb's hand

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • force — [ fɔrs ] n. f. • 1080; bas lat. fortia, plur. neutre substantivé de fortis → 1. fort; forcer I ♦ La force de qqn. 1 ♦ Puissance d action physique (d un être, d un organe). Force physique; force musculaire. ⇒ résistance, robustesse, vigueur. Force …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • forcé — force [ fɔrs ] n. f. • 1080; bas lat. fortia, plur. neutre substantivé de fortis → 1. fort; forcer I ♦ La force de qqn. 1 ♦ Puissance d action physique (d un être, d un organe). Force physique; force musculaire. ⇒ résistance, robustesse, vigueur …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • force — Force, Vis, Neruositas, Fortitudo, Virtus. Il se prend quelquesfois pour le dessus d une entreprinse ou affaire, comme, Il combatit si vaillamment que la force fut sienne, c est à dire, que le dessus du combat et la victoire fut à luy. Item,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • force — 1 n 1: a cause of motion, activity, or change intervening force: a force that acts after another s negligent act or omission has occurred and that causes injury to another: intervening cause at cause irresistible force: an unforeseeable event esp …   Law dictionary

  • force — Force. subst. fem. Vigueur, faculté naturelle d agir vigoureusement. Il se dit proprement du corps. Force naturelle. grande force. force extraordinaire. force de corps. force de bras, la force consiste dans les nerfs. frapper de toute sa force, y …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Force — Force, n. [F. force, LL. forcia, fortia, fr. L. fortis strong. See {Fort}, n.] 1. Capacity of exercising an influence or producing an effect; strength or energy of body or mind; active power; vigor; might; often, an unusual degree of strength or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • forcé — forcé, ée (for sé, sée) part. passé de forcer. 1°   À quoi on a fait violence, qu on a tordu, brisé avec violence. Un coffre forcé. Une serrure forcée. •   Ils [les Juifs] répandirent dans le monde que le sépulcre [de Jésus] avait été forcé ;… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • force — n 1 *power, energy, strength, might, puissance Analogous words: *stress, strain, pressure, tension: *speed, velocity, momentum, impetus, headway 2 Force, violence, compulsion, coercion, duress, constraint, restraint denote the exercise or the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • force — [fôrs, fōrs] n. [ME < OFr < VL * fortia, * forcia < L fortis, strong: see FORT1] 1. strength; energy; vigor; power 2. the intensity of power; impetus [the force of a blow] 3. a) physical power or strength exerted against a person or… …   English World dictionary

  • Force — Force, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Forced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Forcing}.] [OF. forcier, F. forcer, fr. LL. forciare, fortiare. See {Force}, n.] 1. To constrain to do or to forbear, by the exertion of a power not resistible; to compel by physical, moral,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • force — ► NOUN 1) physical strength or energy as an attribute of action or movement. 2) Physics an influence tending to change the motion of a body or produce motion or stress in a stationary body. 3) coercion backed by the use or threat of violence. 4)… …   English terms dictionary

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