To my knowledge, force can be used as a noun or verb, but cannot be used as an adverb.

However, google tells me:

there are over 72,000 results for "force kill a process"


there are only 9200 results for "forcibly kill a process"


  • 1
    Both are correct. Compare: force feed vs. forcibly feed.
    – Kris
    Jun 18 '14 at 7:06
  • 4
    The reason is that (to) force kill (a process) is a well-recognized and well-worn expression in the given context (of programming) -- in other words, it's a "term."
    – Kris
    Jun 18 '14 at 7:09
  • 1
    You are also not "killing a process forcibly" but "forcing the killing of a process" (using a procedure that may or may not be called "kill" formally on the platform) rather than, say, queuing a request to terminate when the machine finds it convenient (often because the process will ensure that it is never a convenient time).
    – bye
    Jun 18 '14 at 11:36

Both are correct and both has same meaning.

force kill a process

forcibly kill a process

as kris said force kill (a process) is a well-recognized and well-worn expression in the context of programming so it seems better to use force kill than forcibly kill.


"Force kill" is idiomatic/jargon. It is not technically gramatically correct, but has become so by dint of repeated use. It would not be correct outside of the specific usage in computer science ("kill" as an act committed against a living being would require "forcibly").


Both works fine buy , in my suggestion Force to kill would be best choice in term of sentence pronunciation instead of Forcibly kill.

  • 1
    “Force to kill” is semantically incorrect: what's being forced is the process that gets killed, not the entity that does the killing. Jun 18 '14 at 14:24

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