Definition of gravitas
- had the gravitas of a deep thinker
The new leader has an air of gravitas that commands respect.
a comic actress who lacks the gravitas for dramatic roles
The new leader has a certain gravitas.
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This word comes to us straight from Latin. Among the Romans, gravitas was thought to be essential to the character and functions of any adult (male) in authority. Even the head of a household or a low-level official would strive for this important quality. We use gravitas today to identify the same solemn dignity in men and women, but it seems to come easier in those who are over 60, slow-moving--and a bit overweight.
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