gravitas

noun
grav·​i·​tas | \ ˈgra-və-ˌtäs How to pronounce gravitas (audio) , -ˌtas \

Definition of gravitas

: high seriousness (as in a person's bearing or in the treatment of a subject) had the gravitas of a deep thinker

Did you know?

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.

Examples of gravitas in a Sentence

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The fusion of real life and performance creates an uncanny emotional resonance; the actors’ biographies lend their scenes gravitas. The New Yorker, 15 June 2022 In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a quintessential character actor, a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble gravitas. Jake Coyle, BostonGlobe.com, 13 June 2022 In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a quintessential character actor, a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble gravitas. CBS News, 13 June 2022 Jake Paul emerged from his dressing room, and the collection of friends and media members nearby suddenly hushed; a fighter preparing for battle, even this fighter, has a certain gravitas. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 1 Nov. 2021 Foremost among these is John Eastman, the constitutional law scholar who acknowledged that his arguments would not draw a single vote from the Supreme Court, but insisted upon giving a fig leaf of lawyerly gravitas to Trump’s nonsense. The Editors, National Review, 20 June 2022 That’s when the otherwise wild-and-wacky, up-for-anything TV personality displays the kind of gravitas needed for weather that’s become a matter of life and death. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Apr. 2022 Aikman, meanwhile, is a pillar of NFL professionalism; A three-time Super Bowl winner and Hall of Famer who gives ESPN’s unsteady football package an immediate dose of gravitas. Jason Gay, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2022 Equipped with a lot more gravitas, this new generation of creators is working to create a more positive internet culture. Laura Begley Bloom, Forbes, 31 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of gravitas

1869, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gravitas

Latin — see gravity

Learn More About gravitas

Time Traveler for gravitas

Time Traveler

The first known use of gravitas was in 1869

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Dictionary Entries Near gravitas

gravit-

gravitas

gravitate

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Statistics for gravitas

Last Updated

25 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gravitas.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gravitas. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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