Definition for FORCE

FORCE, n. [Fr. force; It. forza; Sp. fuerza; Port. for├ža; from L. fortis. All words denoting force, power, strength are from verbs which express straining, or driving, rushing, and this word has the elements of Sax. faran, and L. vireo.]

  1. Strength; active power; vigor; might; energy that may be exerted; that physical property in a body which may produce action or motion in another body, or may counteract such action. By the force of the muscles we raise a weight, or resist an assault.
  2. Momentum; the quantity of power produced by motion or the action of one body on another; as, the force of a cannon ball.
  3. That which causes an operation or moral effect; strength; energy; as, the force of the mind, will or understanding.
  4. Violence; power exerted against will or consent; compulsory power. Let conquerors consider that force alone can keep what force has obtained.
  5. Strength; moral power to convince the mind. There is great force in an argument.
  6. Virtue; efficacy. No presumption or hypothesis can be of force enough to overthrow constant experience.
  7. Validity; power to bind or hold. If the conditions of a covenant are not fulfilled, the contract is of no force. A testament is of force after the testator is dead. Heb. ix. 17.
  8. Strength or power for war; armament; troops; an army or navy; as, a military or naval force: sometimes in the plural; as, military forces.
  9. Destiny; necessity; compulsion; any extraneous power to which men are subject; as, the force of fate or of divine decrees.
  10. Internal power; as, the force of habit.
  11. In law, any unlawful violence to person or property. This is simple, when no other crime attends it, as the entering into another's possession, without committing any other unlawful act. It is compound, when some other violence or unlawful set is committed. The law also implies force, as when a person enters a house or inclosure lawfully, but afterward does on unlawful act. In this case, the law supposes the first entrance to be for that purpose, and therefore by force. Physical force, is the force of material bodies. Moral force, is the power of acting on the reason in judging and determining. Mechanical force, is the power that belongs to bodies at rest or in motion. The pressure or tension of bodies at rest is called a mechanical force, and so is the power of a body in motion. There is also the force of gravity or attraction, centrifugal and centripetal forces, expansive force, &c.

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