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Old French[edit]


Vulgar Latin *exfortiāre, corresponding to ex (out of) + fortia, from forti-, stem of fors (strength), + -āre, infinitive suffix. Compare Spanish esforzar.



  1. to try; to make a large effort
  2. to use force
  3. to rape
  4. to fortify; to reinforce
  5. to force (someone to do something)
  6. (reflexive, s'esforcier) to try; to attempt
    • 13th Century, Author unknown, Le Vilain mire:
      Et la pucele qui ce voit,
      A tout le mal qu'ele sentoit,
      Vout rire, si s'en esforça
      Que de la bouche li vola
      L'areste hors enz el brasier.
    • circa 1250, Rutebeuf, Ci encoumence la vie de Sainte Elyzabel, fille au roi de Hongrie:
      Sachiez, ce mes oncles m'esforce
      Que je preigne mari a force,
      Je m'enfuirai en aucun leu
      Know that if my uncle forces me
      To take a husband against my will
      I will flee to any place [but here]


This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -ier, with a palatal stem. These verbs are conjugated mostly like verbs in -er, but there is an extra i before the e of some endings. The forms that would normally end in *-c, *-cs, *-ct are modified to z, z, zt. In addition, c becomes ç before an a, o or u to keep the /ts/ sound intact. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]