force majeure

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Superior or overpowering force.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Superior force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun an overwhelming force
  • noun law an unavoidable catastrophe, especially one that prevents someone from fulfilling a legal obligation

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a natural and unavoidable catastrophe that interrupts the expected course of events

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French : force, force + majeure, greater.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French force majeure (greater force)

Examples

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Comments

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  • "'Bless me, the Emperor's envoy has put off already.'

    "'God damn and blast the man,' cried the Admiral, looking angrily at the clock. 'Let him go and ... no: we must not offend the Moors. I shall not have time for Aubrey. Pray tell him so, Mr Yarrow—make my excuses—force majeure—do the civil thing—bid him to dinner and let him bring Dr Maturin; or let them come tomorrow morning, if that don't suit.'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 18

    OED: "Irresistible force or overwhelming power," from the French for "superior power." In law, something that prevents a party from discharging its obligations.

    February 19, 2008

  • A good word about now..

    October 1, 2008