Force n.

(with the) in the fictional universe of the Star Wars franchise: a mystical universal energy field which certain individuals, such as the Jedi, can harness to gain special powers or abilities

Also in extended use, and in allusions to dialogue from the Star Wars films, esp. may the Force be with you (used to wish someone good luck, courage, etc.).


Star Wars


  • 1974 G. Lucas Star Wars (film script: rough draft) 14 George Lucas

    I know, Luke. I feel The Force also.

  • 1977 B. Searles Films in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct. 63/2 page image Baird Searles

    When I’m wearing my Star Wars T-shirt, every few blocks I am greeted with ‘May the force be with you’ from total strangers.

  • 1977 N.Y. Times Magazine 20 Nov. 124/4

    The psychobabblers not only outnumber the rest of us, but…they have The Force on their side.

  • 1986 C. Matheson & E. Solomon Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (film script) 51

    Ted (low, breathy) Use the Force, Bill. I’m Darth Ted.

  • 1999 T. Parsons Man & Boy (2000) i. 12

    ‘The Force is strong in this one,’ Pat said.

  • 2000 G. Lucas Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace 59 George Lucas

    Qui-Gon The Force is unusually strong with him, that much is clear. Who was his father?

  • 2006 N.Y. Magazine 21 Aug. 78/1

    Many of the people we count as friends are away for weekends, or weeks at a time, leading to a sudden slip-off of phone calls and e-mails that produces the existential question: Do I exist when the bulk of my friends are absent? It’s like a dip in the Force.

  • 2017 SFX (#281) Jan. 48/2 page image

    An all-new team of Rebel heroes—characters who, crucially, don’t have lightsabers and the Force to fall back on.

Last modified 2021-01-05 02:58:03
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.