in force

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in force

1. Legally enforced; in effect. There was a law like that on the books, but I'm not sure it's still in force.
2. In a large group; at full strength, as of an army. The voters are going to come out against you in force if you don't change your position on this. You better believe the fans will be there in force to support the team at the critical road game.
See also: force
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*in force

 
1. [of a rule or law] currently valid or in effect. (*Typically: be ~.) Is this rule in force now? The constitution is still in force.
2. Fig. in a very large group. (*Typically: arrive ~; attack ~.) The entire group arrived in force. The mosquitoes will attack in force this evening.
See also: force
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

in force

1. In full strength, in large numbers, as in Demonstrators were out in force. This usage originally alluded to a large military force. [Early 1300s]
2. Operative, binding, as in This rule is no longer in force. This usage originally alluded to the binding power of a law. [Late 1400s]
See also: force
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in force

in great strength or numbers.
1989 Amy Wilentz The Rainy Season They turned out in force, armed with machetes and cocomacaques.
See also: force
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

in ˈforce/ˈstrength

(of people) present in large numbers: The police were out in force to deal with any trouble at the demonstration.Party members appeared in strength to welcome the Prime Minister.
See also: force, strength
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

in force

1. In full strength; in large numbers: Demonstrators were out in force.
2. In effect; operative: a rule that is no longer in force.
See also: force
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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