If you "force" something, you use your strength or power of influence so that a thing or a person will change or act.

  • Elliot forced his kids to do their homework.
  • Theresa has to force her daughter to wear her glasses.
  • The door was stuck, so I forced the door open with my shoulder.
  • A strong wind forced the tree to fall over.
  • The teacher is forcing Sophia to stay after school and clean the room because of her bad behavior.
  • You shouldn’t have to force someone to do something that he or she doesn’t want to do.
  • Try not to force that bolt too much. It might break.
  • The new health care law forces Americans to purchase health insurance if they don’t already have it.

This next group of sentences shows how "force" can be used as a noun:

  • The police used extreme force against the crowd of protesters.
  • You need a lot of force to open up this bottle.
  • Roberto applied a little too much force to get his new business approved by the city council.
  • Force wasn’t necessary in getting the other army to put down their weapons. They did so willingly.
  • Military forces were called upon to help resolve the conflict.

air force

The United States can use military force to influence behavior in other countries.

You can turn "force" into an adjective by adding "ful" to the end of it:

  • She made a forceful argument on behalf of her friend who needed help.
  • The governor has a very forceful personality.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

Published March 27, 2012 / Updated November 28, 2017