Definition of tour de force in US English:

tour de force


  • An impressive performance or achievement that has been accomplished or managed with great skill.

    ‘his novel is a tour de force’
    • ‘In Dundee, where it was premiered, it was a tour de force, commenting nicely on the inadequacy of art to convey the reality of life.’
    • ‘I have read three chapters of the book in manuscript and can advise that it is an eye-opening tour de force.’
    • ‘The pianist's dazzling rendition of the Vivace finale was a pianistic tour de force.’
    • ‘His group's success was a spectacular tour de force of meticulous technique and solid research design.’
    • ‘She accomplishes the tour de force of making us forget in what language this play is supposed to be, for she transcends locality.’
    • ‘It is a tour de force: a justification, in itself, for the existence of movies, since no other art could accomplish quite this.’
    • ‘Eventually, dish after dish of sublimely spiced specialities came dashing out of the kitchen like a dramatic tour de force.’
    • ‘But to pigeonhole this great structure as an engineering tour de force would be to miss the point.’
    • ‘It's a tour de force of a performance; one that would be enough to recommend the film on its own.’
    • ‘The novel becomes a tour de force in which one literary trick succeeds another.’
    • ‘Focus on covering the five boroughs, for example, or eat and drink your way through Manhattan in a gastronomic tour de force.’
    • ‘The music, like the man, is energetic, abrasive and challenging, and live, he's a tour de force.’
    • ‘It struck the judges as something of a tour de force, a complex composition in which most of the detail had to be suppressed in order to preserve a sense of pictorial unity.’
    • ‘Their self-titled debut was a tour de force, a record at once wildly experimental and eminently accessible.’
    • ‘It was an extraordinary tour de force but no headline-catcher.’
    • ‘I heard him speak on this, and it was a tour de force.’
    • ‘That a comparative tour de force on them should be written by a Swede is peculiarly appropriate.’
    • ‘But no, the world was told the next morning that her appearance was a tour de force that somehow stilled all doubts about her candidacy.’
    • ‘His design was a tour de force, and it became one of the most glamorous and widely admired of all the Cold War embassies.’
    • ‘The book is something of a tour de force in creating sympathy for a character who, properly speaking, ought to arouse feelings of contempt.’
    triumph, masterpiece, supreme example, coup, marvellous feat, feather in one's cap, wonder, sensation, master stroke
    View synonyms


French, literally ‘feat of strength’.


tour de force

/ˌtʊr də ˈfɔrs//ˌto͝or də ˈfôrs/