force majeure

[French fawrs ma-zhœr]
noun, plural forces majeures [French fawrs ma-zhœr] . Law.
an unexpected and disruptive event that may operate to excuse a party from a contract.

1880–85; < French: literally, superior force Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
force majeure (ˈfɔːs mæˈʒɜː, -ˈdʒʊə)
law irresistible force or compulsion such as will excuse a party from performing his or her part of a contract
[from French: superior force]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

force majeure
1883, from Fr., lit. superior strength.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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