Borrowed from French force majeure (“exceptionally strong or superior force; (law) unavoidable circumstance that prevents someone from fulfilling a legal obligation”), from force (“force”) (ultimately from Latin fortis (“powerful, strong”) and Proto-Indo-European *bʰerǵʰ- (“to ascend, rise up; to be elevated, up high”) or *dʰerǵʰ- (“robust, strong”)) + majeure (the feminine singular of majeur (“of great importance, major”), ultimately from Latin māior (“greater; large”), from Proto-Indo-European *méǵh₂s (“big; great”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌfɔːs mæˈʒɜː/, /-mə-/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌfoɹs mɑˈʒɜɹ/
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)
- Hyphenation: force ma‧jeure
- An overwhelming force. [from late 19th c.]
- 1930, Walter de la Mare, Poems for Children, London: Constable & Co., →OCLC, page xxix; republished in “[The Children’s Bookshop] Children and Childhood”, in Henry Seidel Canby, editor, The Saturday Review of Literature, volume VII, number 9, New York, N.Y.: Saturday Review Associates, 1930 September 20, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 151, column 2:
- They [children] realize their oughts no less sharply than their crosses; and this even though they are midgets in a land of giants who have forgotten much of their language and whose right is often founded solely on force majeure.
- 2013 October 31, “A&E 2013 Surveys: Weber Thompson”, in Daily Journal of Commerce, Portland, Or.: Daily Journal of Commerce, Inc., →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2021-11-23:
- Gen Y is a "force majeure" that will determine the future of the housing market. They are looking for housing solutions that cater to their mobile- and technology-focused lifestyles.
- (law) An unavoidable circumstance, especially one that prevents someone from fulfilling a legal (usually contractual) obligation.
- 2013 October 22, “Brazil’s Copersucar Declares Force Majeure to 3rd Party Sugar Shippers”, in Reuters, archived from the original on 2023-11-17:
- Brazil's largest trader of sugar and ethanol declared force majeure to some third party exporters of sugar with contracts to ship through its Santos Port terminal that burned down on Friday, sources in the sugar trade said.
- 2013 November 3, “Observer Magazine Competition: Win a Moncrief bag and Ipad case! [terms and conditions]”, in The Observer, London, archived from the original on 2021-11-23:
- 18. GNM [Guardian News & Media Limited] shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.
- 2022 July 18, Reuters, “Russia’s Gazprom tells European buyers it cannot guarantee gas supplies”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2022-09-19:
- Dated 14 July, the letter from the Russian state gas monopoly said it was declaring force majeure on supplies, starting from 14 June. Known as an "act of God" clause, a force majeure clause is standard in business contracts and spells out extreme circumstances that excuse a party from their legal obligations.
- → Danish: force majeure
- → English: force majeure
- → Norwegian Bokmål: force majeure
- → Ottoman Turkish: فورس ماژور
- Turkish: forsmajör
- → Russian: форс-мажор (fors-mažor)