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A.Word.A.Day--force majeure

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: terms from law.

force majeure (fors ma-ZHOOR) noun

1. An unforeseeable and uncontrollable event (for example, a war or a strike) that exempts a party from a contract.

2. Superior force.

[From French, literally superior force.]

See more usage examples of force majeure in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A related term is vis major (Latin for superior force) that is used to refer to an act of God (for example, a flood or an earthquake) that excuses one from fulfilling a contract.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"During the half year to June, Sebuku produced 1.5 million tonnes of coal as record rain in the second quarter restrained mine production, and force majeure was declared." Straights Wants Second Kalimantan Asset; The Age (Melbourne, Australia); Sep 28, 2007.

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