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force

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noun British English pronunciation: force /fɔː(r)s/ 
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singularforce
pluralforces
  1. 1
    [uncountable] physical strength, or violence

    They accused the police of using excessive force during the arrest.

    by force:

    The army took control of the region by force.

    You can achieve more by persuasion than by brute force (=physical force alone).

    1. a.
      the power or energy produced by one thing hitting another

      His body swung round with the force of the blow.

      The office block took the full force of the blast.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the influence or powerful effect that someone has

    We have convinced people by the force of our argument.

    force of personality:

    He persuaded them to re-elect him by sheer force of personality.

    1. a.
      [countable] someone or something that has a powerful influence on what happens

      the social and political forces that shape people's lives

      For years he was a dominant force in Spanish politics.

      force for:

      The UN is a force for stability.

      The most obvious force for change in industry is technical advance.

      driving force (=the most important influence):

      She was certainly the driving force behind the campaign.

  3. 4
    [countable] a group of people doing military or police work

    Both countries have now withdrawn their forces from the area.

    a UN peacekeeping force

    1. b.

      the force

      informal the police

      Bill was a senior police officer, who joined the force back in 1982.

      See also  task force

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