Vis Major Definition

vĭs mājər
vires majores
An overwhelming, unanticipated, and unpreventable event, usually caused by a natural force, the occurrence of which may exempt a party from performing the obligations of a contract.
American Heritage
Webster's New World

A superior force; the term is used in civil cases to denote an act of God. A loss vis major results from natural causes, such as a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, and without the intervention of human beings. It is a loss that could not have been prevented by diligence or by having taken precautions. See also force majeure.

Webster's New World Law

(law) A greater force; "act of God"; unavoidable accident.


Origin of Vis Major

  • Latin vīs māior vīs force māior greater

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin

    From Wiktionary

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vis major