No it is not a hand in Bridge or Gin Rummy. It is a legal term. Did you ever sign a contract with a Force Majeure clause in it?
This poorly understood clause is often glossed over or omitted when it should not be. The fact is, for many sales people, it is one of those "non clauses" about something that cannot be controlled or never likely to be exercised. But it is useful to understand how it may be used as it could save you or your company a lot of pain.
Basically, it is a get out of jail clause for liability from acts of god that may stop your ability to deliver on your contract
I looked it up in Wikipedia which defines it as a "common clause in contracts which essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties occurs.”
Penalties for failure to meet contract obligation can be severe. Imagine your factory is destroyed by a bush fire and customers coming to sue you for non delivery. If you are able to claim Force majeure you may be protected. Then having a Force Majeure clause in contracts makes sense.
Here is post by a fellow Linked In member of the eMarketing Association and senior manager at Verizon, Jim Anderson. In it he describes "Force Majeure: further and cites examples at Alcoa. Here is Jim’s Force Majeure Post.
For many of us managing risk, it is about understanding what we don’t know, as that usually catches us out. In this case, if you are not full bottle on force majeure, I would quietly recommend you consult with your legal department to see how it may impact you.