Definition of force majeure in English:

force majeure


mass noun
  • 1Law
    Unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.

    • ‘BHP Billiton said it had declared force majeure on coal exports from its Mt Arthur mine after the savage storms.’
    • ‘Coal producer Coal & Allied Industries Ltd has declared force majeure on a number of its sales contracts following severe storms in the Hunter region of New South Wales.’
    • ‘Industry sources said on Monday that both BHP and Rio had declared force majeure following severe flooding.’
    • ‘A spokesman for the company said the declaration of force majeure would only apply to new ships about to join a queue of about 55 vessels waiting off the port to be loaded.’
    • ‘Eni SpA has declared force majeure on shipments from its Ogbainbiri oil flow station in Nigeria after the facility was attacked on Sunday, an Eni spokeswoman said.’
    force of circumstance, pressure of circumstance, need, obligation, call, exigency
    View synonyms
  • 2Irresistible compulsion or superior strength.

    coercion, compulsion, constraint, duress, oppression, enforcement, harassment, intimidation, threats, pressure, pressurization, influence
    View synonyms


French, literally ‘superior strength’.


force majeure

/ˌfɔːs maˈʒəː/