dark matter


Definition of dark matter

: nonluminous matter not yet directly detected by astronomers that is hypothesized to exist to account for various observed gravitational effects

Examples of dark matter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The teetering balance between the pull of gravity and the accelerated expansion of the universe forms a cosmic web of string-like filaments composed of ordinary and dark matter. Tim Childers, Popular Mechanics, "The Human Brain Looks Suspiciously Like the Universe, Which May Freak You Out," 17 Nov. 2020 The calculations offered some of the first evidence of dark matter in the 1970s. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Pin Down Nuclear Reaction From Moments After the Big Bang," 11 Nov. 2020 Other techniques instead try to create dark matter. Ryan Bradley, Popular Science, "Glimpse the gold mine where scientists are searching for dark matter," 27 Oct. 2020 Still, some physicists have been trying to invent theories that can solve puzzles GR cannot—for example, by explaining away the need for invisible dark matter, whose gravity appears to bind the galaxies. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Famous shadow of black hole provides novel test for new theories of gravity," 2 Oct. 2020 More often, dark matter sleuths want hard evidence. Ryan Bradley, Popular Science, "Glimpse the gold mine where scientists are searching for dark matter," 27 Oct. 2020 Having a firm number in hand can also help scientists who look for ways to identify dark matter and energy. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "How Much Matter Is in the Universe? Scientists Finally Find the Number," 23 Oct. 2020 Cooley studies dark matter, invisible stuff in the cosmos that exerts a gravitational pull on galaxies. Anna Kuchment, Dallas News, "Peer inside Dallas labs, learn about black holes and see (real) human brains at these free events," 20 Oct. 2020 The team’s results suggest the distribution of dark matter around the Milky Way is complex. Adam Mann, Science | AAAS, "Milky Way’s shredded companion provides clues about dark matter," 9 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dark matter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dark matter

1979, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of dark matter was in 1979

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dark matter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dark%20matter. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on dark matter

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dark matter

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