force majeure



  • An unexpected or unanticipated event that, if it occurs, can provide the owner or contractor, or both, a legitimate reason to delay the project, cease work, or cancel the contract without penalty. A force majeure clause in a construction contract attempts to define those events. Such events may be, for example, natural disasters deemed "acts of God," unanticipated government mandates, civil disturbances, and so forth.


  • noun something which happens which is out of the control of the parties who have signed a contract and which prevents one of the parties keeping to the contract, e.g. a war or storm