Animal force
Force Force, n. [F. force, LL. forcia, fortia, fr. L. fortis strong. See {Fort}, n.] 1. Capacity of exercising an influence or producing an effect; strength or energy of body or mind; active power; vigor; might; often, an unusual degree of strength or energy; 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. [1913 Webster]

He was, in the full force of the words, a good man. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

2. Power exerted against will or consent; compulsory power; violence; coercion; as, by force of arms; to take by force. [1913 Webster]

Which now they hold by force, and not by right. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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; the armed forces. [1913 Webster]

Is Lucius general of the forces? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. (Law) (a) Strength or power exercised without law, or contrary to law, upon persons or things; violence. (b) Validity; efficacy. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{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} (Physiol.), 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.

Usage: {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. [1913 Webster]

Thy tears are of no force to mollify This flinty man. --Heywood. [1913 Webster]

More huge in strength than wise in works he was. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Adam and first matron Eve Had ended now their orisons, and found Strength added from above, new hope to spring Out of despair. --Milton. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Force — Force, n. [F. force, LL. forcia, fortia, fr. L. fortis strong. See {Fort}, n.] 1. Capacity of exercising an influence or producing an effect; strength or energy of body or mind; active power; vigor; might; often, an unusual degree of strength or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Force and arms — Force Force, n. [F. force, LL. forcia, fortia, fr. L. fortis strong. See {Fort}, n.] 1. Capacity of exercising an influence or producing an effect; strength or energy of body or mind; active power; vigor; might; often, an unusual degree of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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