The scene I am writing is about a woman seducing a soldier on battlefront. She provokes him by lifting her face and keeping it at a few inches from his. He replies by holding her by the back of her head and kissing her.

He held his hands on the back of her head and pressed her lips on his. She posed a weak resistance, further provoking him as he kissed her ----------

What is a better choice for word here? forcibly or forcefully?

  • 2
    You are likely to get better, more in-depth answers if you cite dictionary entries for both of these words to show that you already know their basic definitions.
    – herisson
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


Forcefully sounds more appropriate in your context:

Forceful vs forcible:

  • In general, forceful describes a person or thing that is powerful, forcible describes the use of power.

  • Forceful means powerful, assertive, effective. Forceful is an adjective which may describe a person or argument, among other things. A derivative is the noun, forcefulness. Forceful comes into use in the 1570s.

  • Forcible means accomplished through force. Forcible is an adjective which means vigorous, strong, effective. Derived forms are forcibleness, forcibility, forcibly. Forcible came into use in the early 1500s from the Old French forcier, meaning conquer by violence.

Usage examples:

  • It took courage and determination to implement such a forceful policy given the protests from human rights groups and our regional neighbours. (The West Australian)

  • Taipei defends forcible demolition of man’s home (The Taipei Times)

(The Grammarist)

Usage note:

  • Forceful, forcible, and forced have distinct, if related, meanings. Forceful is used to describe something that suggests strength or force: a forceful argument. Forceful measures may or may not involve the use of actual physical force. Forcible is most often used concerning actions accomplished by the application of physical force: There had clearly been a forcible entry into the storeroom. The suspect had to be forcibly restrained.

  • "Forced is used to describe a condition brought about by control of an outside influence: Products made by forced labor are generally shunned in the international marketplace. It became necessary for the pilot to make a forced landing. Her displeasure was evident in her forced smile."

(Webster's New Essential Writer's Companion. Houghton Mifflin, 2007)

  • Many thanks! I have realized that indeed I should use "forcefully" here as her resistance was only for seduction sake, not to actively stop him (in which case "forcibly" would have been the adequate choice). Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 22:06
  • @YoustayIgo - please remember to add your research in your future questions.
    – user66974
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 22:09
  • Such a good answer should be enough to save the question.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 0:00

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