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 especially that prevents performance of an obligation under a contract : force majeure

  1. : a body of persons available for a particular end the labor force; specifically : police force —usually used with the : police force —usually used with the

  1. : violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person or thing

    — constructive force
    : the use of threats or intimidation for the purpose of gaining control over or preventing resistance from another

    — deadly force
    : force that is intended to cause or that carries a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury — compare nondeadly force in this entry Note: As a general rule, deadly force may be used without incurring criminal or tort liability when one reasonably believes that one's life or safety is in danger. In some cases, a person's unreasonable belief in the need for deadly force has been used to justify reducing a charge of murder to voluntary manslaughter. Additionally, a police officer is generally justified in using deadly force to prevent the escape of a suspect who threatens the officer or who the officer has probable cause to believe has committed a violent crime.

    — lawful force
    : force that is considered justified under the law and does not create criminal or tort liability — compare unlawful force in this entry

    — moderate force
    : nondeadly force in this entry

    — nondeadly force
    : force that is intended to cause minor bodily injury; also : a threat (as by the brandishing of a gun) to use deadly force — called also moderate force ; compare deadly force in this entry

    — reasonable force
    : Lawful force that is reasonably necessary to accomplish a particular end (as preventing theft of one's property)

    — unlawful force
    : force that is not justified under the law and therefore is considered a tort or crime or both — compare lawful force in this entry


transitive verb
  1. a : to compel by physical means often against resistance forced him into the car

    b : to break open or through forced the door — see also forcible entry

  1. : to impose or require by law — see also elective share, forced heir at heir, forced sale at sale