Etymology
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force (n.)

c. 1300, "physical strength," from Old French force "force, strength; courage, fortitude; violence, power, compulsion" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *fortia (source also of Old Spanish forzo, Spanish fuerza, Italian forza), noun use of neuter plural of Latin fortis "strong, mighty; firm, steadfast; brave, bold" (see fort).

Meanings "power to convince the mind" and "power exerted against will or consent" are from mid-14c. Meaning "body of armed men, a military organization" first recorded late 14c. (also in Old French). Physics sense is from 1660s; force field attested by 1920. Related: Forces.

force (v.)

c. 1300, forcen, also forsen, "exert force upon (an adversary)," from Old French forcer "conquer by violence," from force "strength, power, compulsion" (see force (n.)). From early 14c. as "to violate (a woman), to rape." From c. 1400 as "compel by force, constrain (someone to do something)." Meaning "bring about by unusual effort" is from 1550s. Card-playing sense is from 1746 (whist). Related: Forced; forcing.

updated on December 18, 2014

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Definitions of force from WordNet
1
force (n.)
a powerful effect or influence;
the force of his eloquence easily persuaded them
force (n.)
(physics) the influence that produces a change in a physical quantity;
force equals mass times acceleration
force (n.)
physical energy or intensity;
he hit with all the force he could muster
Synonyms: forcefulness / strength
force (n.)
group of people willing to obey orders;
a public force is necessary to give security to the rights of citizens
Synonyms: personnel
force (n.)
a unit that is part of some military service;
he sent Caesar a force of six thousand men
Synonyms: military unit / military force / military group
force (n.)
an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists);
he may accomplish by craft in the long run what he cannot do by force and violence in the short one
Synonyms: violence
force (n.)
one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority;
the forces of evil
may the force be with you
Synonyms: power
force (n.)
a group of people having the power of effective action;
he joined forces with a band of adventurers
force (n.)
(of a law) having legal validity;
Synonyms: effect
force (n.)
a putout of a base runner who is required to run; the putout is accomplished by holding the ball while touching the base to which the runner must advance before the runner reaches that base;
the shortstop got the runner at second on a force
Synonyms: force out / force-out / force play
2
force (v.)
to cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means;
She forced him to take a job in the city
Synonyms: coerce / hale / squeeze / pressure
force (v.)
urge or force (a person) to an action; constrain or motivate;
Synonyms: impel
force (v.)
move with force;
Synonyms: push
force (v.)
impose urgently, importunately, or inexorably;
She forced her diet fads on him
Synonyms: thrust
force (v.)
squeeze like a wedge into a tight space;
Synonyms: wedge / squeeze
force (v.)
force into or from an action or state, either physically or metaphorically;
Synonyms: drive / ram
force (v.)
do forcibly; exert force;
Don't force it!
force (v.)
take by force;
Synonyms: storm
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.