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From Middle English par force, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French par force (by force)



perforce (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) By force.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act iii, scene 1 (First Folio):
      If ſhe denie, Lord Hastings goe with him,
      And from her iealous Armes pluck him perforce.
    • 1610, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, act 5, scene 1:
      For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother
      Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
      Thy rankest fault; all of them; and require
      My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know
      Thou must restore.
  2. Necessarily.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, ch. 17:
      Mr. Wickham's happiness and her own were perforce delayed a little longer, and Mr. Collins's proposal accepted with as good a grace as she could..
    • 1882, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Inferno, canto 34:
      "Keep fast thy hold, for by such stairs as these,"
      The Master said, panting as one fatigued,
      "Must we perforce depart from so much evil."
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      So, bevelling around by Mullett's and the Signal House which they shortly reached, they proceeded perforce in the direction of Amiens street railway terminus
    • 2006, Alejandro Portes, Rubén G. Rumbaut, Immigrant America: A Portrait, 3rd ed., page 239:
      Adult immigrants must perforce learn some English, and their children are likely to become English monolinguals.
    • 2013 January 8, European Court of Human Rights, A.K. and L. v. Croatia[1], number 37956/11, marginal 62–63:
      The central issue in this case is whether the procedures followed respected the applicants’ family life or constituted an interference with the exercise of the right to respect for family life which could not be justified as necessary in a democratic society. […] It is true that Article 8 contains no explicit procedural requirements, but this is not conclusive of the matter. The relevant considerations to be weighed by a local authority in reaching decisions on children in its care must perforce include the views and interests of the natural parents.




perforce (third-person singular simple present perforces, present participle perforcing, simple past and past participle perforced)

  1. (obsolete) To force; to compel.