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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, James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 16:
      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.




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

  1. (obsolete) To force; to compel.