"Force" has several meanings, most of them based on the concept of an outside power compelling action, such as a "forced march" or a "forced play":
- In physics, force (physics) is the fundamental cause of motion, as in "F=ma."
- In military science, a force is a military group, such as in "armed force."
- In cooking, "force" is an obsolete word (derived from "farce" and meaning "to cut [up]") for stuffing, usually used now only of "forced meat" (or "forcemeat"), which is seasoned ground meat.
- In finance, money may be described as a "force" that can be "leveraged" to increase it.
- In games, including some sports, certain actions or results are said to be forced when the game's rules or conventions require them, as a "forced bet" in poker or a "forcing bid" in contract bridge.
- In gardening, forcing a flower bulb means processing it so that it blooms at a different time of the year (or season) than it normally does.
- In law, "force (law)" involves either unlawful violence, as in a "forced entry," or legal validity, as in the "force of law."
- In mathematics, "force" is used in the sense of given conditions' "forcing" a certain result and, therefore, in the related sense of a "brute-force" method, which usually means one that is neither efficient nor intellectually elegant but is "forced" to reach the desired result eventually.
- In politics, political force is state-sanctioned violence used to enforce the decrees of a political regime.
- In science fiction, The Force is a mystical power in the Star Wars universe.
- In sociology, force compels obedience by means of actual or threatened violence or sanctions.
- In British slang, force is an old dialect word for a waterfall, describing its power in the same sense as "force of nature."