—n. 1. physical power or strength possessed by a living being: He used all his force in opening the window. 2. strength or power exerted upon an object; physical coercion; violence: to use force to open the window; to use force on a person. 3. strength; energy; power; intensity: a personality of great force. 4. power to influence, affect, or control; efficacious power: the force of circumstances; a force for law and order. 5. Law.unlawful violence threatened or committed against persons or property.
6. persuasive power; power to convince: They felt the force of his arguments. 7. mental or moral strength: force of character. 8. might, as of a ruler or realm; strength for war.
9. Often, forces. the military or fighting strength, esp. of a nation.
10. any body of persons combined for joint action: a sales force. 11. intensity or strength of effect: the force of her acting. 12. Physics. a. an influence on a body or system, producing or tending to produce a change in movement or in shape or other effects.
b. the intensity of such an influence. Symbol: F, f
13. any influence or agency analogous to physical force: social forces. 14. binding power, as of a contract.
15. Baseball.See force play. 16. value; significance; meaning.
17. Billiards.a stroke in which the cue ball is forcibly struck directly below the center in such a manner as to cause it to stop abruptly, bound back, or roll off to one side after hitting the object ball.
18. in force, a. in operation; effective: This ancient rule is no longer in force. b. in large numbers; at full strength: They attacked in force.
—v.t. 1. to compel, constrain, or oblige (oneself or someone) to do something: to force a suspect to confess. 2. to drive or propel against resistance: He forced his way through the crowd. They forced air into his lungs. 3. to bring about or effect by force.
4. to bring about of necessity or as a necessary result: to force a smile. 5. to put or impose (something or someone) forcibly on or upon a person: to force one's opinions on others. 6. to compel by force; overcome the resistance of: to force acceptance of something. 7. to obtain or draw forth by or as if by force; extort: to force a confession. 8. to enter or take by force; overpower: They forced the town after a long siege. 9. to break open (a door, lock, etc.).
10. to cause (plants, fruits, etc.) to grow or mature at an increased rate by artificial means.
11. to press, urge, or exert (an animal, person, etc.) to violent effort or to the utmost.
12. to use force upon.
13. to rape.
14. Baseball. a. to cause (a base runner) to be put out by obliging the runner, as by a ground ball, to vacate a base and attempt to move to the next base in order to make room for another runner or the batter.
b. to cause (a base runner or run) to score, as by walking a batter with the bases full (often fol. by in).
15. Cards. a. to compel (a player) to trump by leading a suit of which the player has no cards.
b. to compel a player to play (a particular card).
c. to compel (a player) to play so as to make known the strength of the hand.
16. Photog. a. to develop (a print or negative) for longer than usual in order to increase density or bring out details.
b. to bring out underexposed parts of (a print or negative) by adding alkali to the developer.
17. Archaic.to give force to; strengthen; reinforce.