1. Strength or energy of body or mind; active power; vigor; might; often, an unusual degree of strength
or energy; capacity of exercising an influence or producing an effect; especially, power to persuade, or
convince, or impose obligation; pertinency; validity; special signification; as, the force of an appeal, an
argument, a contract, or a term.
He was, in the full force of the words, a good man.Macaulay.
2. Power exerted against will or consent; compulsory power; violence; coercion.
Which now they hold by force, and not by right.Shak.
3. Strength or power for war; hence, a body of land or naval combatants, with their appurtenances, ready
for action; an armament; troops; warlike array; often in the plural; hence, a body of men prepared for
action in other ways; as, the laboring force of a plantation.
Is Lucius general of the forces?Shak.
4. (Law) (a) Strength or power exercised without law, or contrary to law, upon persons or things; violence.
(b) Validity; efficacy. Burrill.
5. (Physics) Any action between two bodies which changes, or tends to change, their relative condition
as to rest or motion; or, more generally, which changes, or tends to change, any physical relation between
them, whether mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical, magnetic, or of any other kind; as, the force of
gravity; cohesive force; centrifugal force.
Animal force (Physiol.), muscular force or energy. Catabiotic force [Gr. down (intens.) + life.]
(Biol.), the influence exerted by living structures on adjoining cells, by which the latter are developed
in harmony with the primary structures. Centrifugal force, Centripetal force, Coercive force,
etc. See under Centrifugal, Centripetal, etc. Composition of forces, Correlation of forces, etc.
See under Composition, Correlation, etc. Force and arms [trans. of L. vi et armis] (Law), an
expression in old indictments, signifying violence. In force, or Of force, of unimpaired efficacy; valid; of
full virtue; not suspended or reversed. "A testament is of force after men are dead." Heb. ix. 17.
Metabolic force (Physiol.), the influence which causes and controls the metabolism of the body.
No force, no matter of urgency or consequence; no account; hence, to do no force, to make no account
of; not to heed. [Obs.] Chaucer. Of force, of necessity; unavoidably; imperatively. "Good reasons
must, of force, give place to better." Shak. Plastic force the force which presumably acts in the
growth and repair of the tissues. Vital force (Physiol.), that force or power which is inherent in
organization; that form of energy which is the cause of the vital phenomena of the body, as distinguished
from the physical forces generally known.
Syn. Strength; vigor; might; energy; stress; vehemence; violence; compulsion; coaction; constraint; coercion.
Force, Strength. Strength looks rather to power as an inward capability or energy. Thus we speak
of the strength of timber, bodily strength, mental strength, strength of emotion, etc. Force, on the
other hand, looks more to the outward; as, the force of gravitation, force of circumstances, force of
habit, etc. We do, indeed, speak of strength of will and force of will; but even here the former may lean
toward the internal tenacity of purpose, and the latter toward the outward expression of it in action. But,
though the two words do in a few cases touch thus closely on each other, there is, on the whole, a marked
distinction in our use of force and strength. "Force is the name given, in mechanical science, to whatever
produces, or can produce, motion." Nichol.
Thy tears are of no force to mollifyHeywood.
This flinty man.
More huge in strength than wise in works he was.Spenser.
Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above, new