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.
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.
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 Operative, binding, as in This rule is no longer in force.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]
in forcein great strength or numbers.
1989 Amy Wilentz The Rainy Season They turned out in force, armed with machetes and cocomacaques.
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.
1. In full strength; in large numbers: Demonstrators were out in force.
2. In effect; operative: a rule that is no longer in force.