1. The act or an instance of violently and unlawfully taking possession of lands and tenements against the will of those in lawful possession.
2. The act of entering land in another’s possession by the use of force against another or by breaking into the premises. 
1. An entry by breaking doors to make an arrest or a search of premises. 5 Am J2d Arr §§ 86, 87.
An entry with at least some degree of actual force, for the purpose of committing a felony. 13 Am J2d Burgl §§ 11, 12.
An entry on real property peaceably in the possession of another, against his will, without authority of law, by actual force, or with such an array of force and apparent intent to employ it for the purpose of overcoming resistance, that the occupant, in yielding and permitting possession to be taken from him, must be regarded as acting from a well-founded apprehension that resistance by him would be perilous or unavailing. 35 Am J2d Forc E & D § 1. 
1. An entry into a house or other structure with at least some force.
See breaking; breaking and entering; burglary.
2. An entry on real property which is in the possession of another person, without her consent and by actual force or threats by force, causing her to surrender possession of the property.
Compare trespass. 
1. Entry on real property in the possession of another, against his will and without authority of law, by actual force, or with such an array of force and apparent intent to employ it for the purpose of overcoming resistance that occupant, in yielding and permitting possession to be taken from him, must be regarded as acting from a well-founded fear that resistance would be perilous or unavailing. 193 S.W. 2d 643, 644.
In many states a mere trespass without any force will be considered “forcible” and a simple refusal to surrender possession after a lawful demand will constitute a “forcible detainer.” See 198 P. 646. 
1. The wrongful retention of possession of property by one originally in lawful possession, often with threats or actual use of violence.
2. A quick and simple legal proceeding for regaining possession of real property from someone who has wrongfully taken, or refused to surrender, possession. — Abbr. FED. — aka forcible detainer and detainer. 
1. The unlawful holding or detention of real property by force, threats, or menaces after the making of a peaceable, though unlawful, entry thereon. 35 Am J2d Forc E & D § 1. 
1. A summary remedy for regaining possession of real property from one who continues to hold the property after his right to possession has expired or has been lawfully terminated.
2. The act of a person who remains in possession of land after her right to do so has ended. 
1. Holding in custody by the use of force or the show of force.
2. A summary action based on a statutory right to obtain possession of premises by one entitle d to actual possession. 444 P. 2d 521, 523. 
Excerpt from Benjamin J. Shipman’s Handbook fo Common-Law Pleading § 74, at 188 (Henry Winthrop Ballantine ed., 3d ed. 1923):
“Forcible entry and detainer is a remedy given by statute for the recover of possession of land and of damages for its detention. It is entirely regulated by statute, and the statutes vary materially in he different states.“ 
forcible entry and detainer:
1. The act of violently taking and keeping possession of lands and tenements without legal authority. 
1. A common-law offense against the public peace committed by violently taking or keeping possession of lands and tenements, with menaces, force and arms, and without the authority of law. 4 Bl Comm 148.
A remedy to obtain restitution to possession of one turned or kept out of possession of real property by strong hand, violence, or terror. 35 Am J2d Force E & D § 5. 
1. After a forcible entry and detainer the aggrieved party is entitled to bring “a summary statutory proceeding for restoring to the possession of land one who is wrongfully kept out or has been wrongfully deprived of the possession, int eh particular cases mentioned int he statute. It is a possessory action only and it usually arises where on’es possession has been forcibly invaded between landlord and lessee, vendor and vendee, or the purchaser at a judicial sale and a party to the judicial proceeding. The question of title cannot be tried, but only the right of possession.” 100 N.E. 520, 521. Its purpose is “to protect the actual possession of real estate against unlawful and forcible invasion, to remove occasion for actual violence in defending such possession, and to punish breaches of the peace committed in the entry upon or the detainer of real property.” 17 N.Y.S. 522, 523.
Compare try title. 
Excerpt from Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N Boyce’s Criminal Law 487-88 (3d ed. 1982):
“To walk across another’s land, or to enter his building, without privilege, is a trespass, but this in itself, while a civil wrong, is not a crime. However, if an entry upon real estate is accomplished by violence or intimidation, or it such methods are employed for detention after a a peaceable entry, there is a crime according to English law, known as forcible entry and detainer. This was a common-law offense in England, although supplemented by English statutes that are old enough to be common law in this counrty…. It has sometimes been said that there are two separate offenses —
(1) forcible entry and
(2) forcible detainer.
This may be true under the peculiar wording of some particular statute, but in general it seems to be one offense which may be committed in two different ways.” 
2. A quick and simple legal proceeding for regaining possession of real property from someone who has wrongfully taken, or refused to surrender, possession. Abbr. FED. — aka forcible detainer. 
1. A summary remedy for obtaining possession of rela property by a person who has been wrongfully put out or kept out of possession.
2. The act of a person who wrongfully deprives another of possession of land. 
1. The action of detaining, withholding, or keeping something in one’s custody. 
1. The act of withholding land from the rightful owner; the restraint of a person without his consent. 
1. The act of withholding property from its rightful owner. 
1. Effected by force or threat of force against opposition or resistance. 
1. With force; resulting in force; having the quality of force. 
Excerpt from R.F.V. Heuston’s Salmond on the Law of Torts 5 (17th ed. 1977):
“[In the law of trespass, the] term ‘forcible’ is used in a wide and somewhat unnatural sense to include any act of physical interference with the person or property of another. To lay one’s finger on another person without lawful justification is as much a forcible injury in the eye of the law, and therefore a trespass, as to beat him with a stick. To walk peacefully across another man’ land is a forcible injury and a trespass, no less than to break into his house vi et armis. So also it is probably a trespass deliberately to put matter where natural forces will take it on to the plaintiff’s land.” 
1. The unjustifiable retention of the possession of real property by one whose original entry was lawful, as when a tenant holds over after lease termination despite the landlord’s demand for possession. 
Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.
: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949). Edited by William S. Anderson. © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931
: Barron’s Law Dictionary Third Edition by Steven H. Gifis (1975, 1991). ISBN0-8120-4633-1.
: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law Revised (2011) ISBN 978-0-87779-719-7.
: Benjamin J. Shipman’s Handbook fo Common-Law Pleading § 74, at 188 (Henry Winthrop Ballantine ed., 3d ed. 1923).
: Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N Boyce’s Criminal Law 487-88 (3d ed. 1982).
: R.F.V. Heuston’s Salmond on the Law of Torts 5 (17th ed. 1977).
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