Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

force

2 verb
     
force2 S2 W1 [transitive]
1

make somebody do something

to make someone do something they do not want to do [↪ persuade]
force somebody/yourself to do something
Government troops have forced the rebels to surrender.
Due to the high cost of borrowing, many companies have been forced to close.
I had to force myself to get up this morning.
force somebody/something into (doing) something
women who are forced into arranged marriages
Bad health forced him into taking early retirement.
2

make somebody/something move

[always + adverb/preposition] to make someone or something move in a particular direction or into a different position, especially through or using great strength [= push]:
Westerly gales forced the ship off course.
Firemen entering the building were forced back by flames.
She tried to keep the door shut but the man forced it open.
3

force your way through/into etc something

also force your way in/out/past etc to push very hard in order to get somewhere:
The doctor forced his way through the crowd.
Demonstrators forced their way past.
4

make something happen

to make something happen or change, especially more quickly than planned or expected:
the unfortunate events that forced his resignation
We need to force the pace on alternative energy policies.
force prices/interest rates etc down/up
The effect will be to increase unemployment and force down wages.
5

force a door/lock/window

to open a door etc using physical strength, often causing damage:
I forced the lock on the cupboard to see what was inside.
6

force the issue

to do something that makes it necessary for someone to make decisions or take action, instead of waiting to see what happens:
Polly decided to force the issue by demanding an explanation.
7

force somebody's hand

to make someone do something unwillingly or earlier than they had intended:
They're reluctant to sell the house yet but the right offer could force their hand.
8

force a smile/laugh etc

to make yourself smile, laugh etc even though you feel upset or annoyed

force something ↔ back

phrasal verb
to stop yourself from showing that you are upset or frightened, especially with difficulty:
Janet forced back her tears.

force something ↔ down

phrasal verb
1DF to make yourself eat or drink something, although you do not want it:
I forced down a piece of stale bread.
2TTA to make a plane land by threatening to attack it:
The hijacked plane was forced down by military jets.

force something on/upon somebody

phrasal verb
to make someone do or accept something even though they do not want to:
It's no good trying to force a diet on someone.
people who try to force their own views on you

force something ↔ out of somebody

phrasal verb
to make someone tell you something by asking them many times, threatening them etc:
I wasn't going to tell Matt but he forced it out of me.

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