gravitate

verb
grav·i·tate | \ˈgra-və-ˌtāt \
gravitated; gravitating

Definition of gravitate 

intransitive verb

1 : to move under the influence of gravitation

2a : to move toward something

b : to be drawn or attracted especially by natural inclination youngsters … gravitate toward a strong leader— Rose Friedman

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Did You Know?

English has several weighty words descended from the Latin gravitas, meaning "weight." The first to arrive on the scene was "gravity," which appeared in the early 16th century. (Originally meaning "dignity or sobriety of bearing," it quickly came to mean "weight" as well.) Next came "gravitation" (used to describe the force of gravity) and "gravitate" - both mid-17th century arrivals. "Gravitate" once meant "to apply weight or pressure," but that use is now obsolete. In the late 17th century, it was recorded in the sense "to move under the effect of gravitation." It then acquired a more general sense of "to move toward something" (as toward a specific location), and finally a metaphorical third sense of "to be attracted" (as toward a person or a vocation).

Examples of gravitate in a Sentence

The guests gravitated toward the far side of the room. The conversation gravitated to politics. Voters have started gravitating to him as a possible candidate. Many young people now gravitate toward careers in the computer industry.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Many of the people who gravitated to these groups were searching for ways to express their frustration and anger with Trump’s election. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "How anti-Trump activists shaped Democratic wins in California," 10 June 2018 Of course, if the blue-staters who gravitate to the armed forces are as conservative as their red-state counterparts, the dialogue would be of limited value. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "The US military: The greatest social engineering machine ever built," 9 June 2018 Behind the camera, aided by Marden Dean’s cinematography, Baker keenly captures the beckoning magnetism of active waters, not to mention the searching souls — young and experienced — who gravitate toward its dangers. Robert Abele, latimes.com, "Simon Baker's coming-of-age surf drama 'Breath' effectively captures emotional turbulence," 7 June 2018 The small-ship, intimate experience is something travelers of all ages have been gravitating toward in recent years. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Retirees, this new cruise line is for you. There are no kids, and booze is included. | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018 The future senator chafed under the strict rules of the school, drawing demerits, but just as many friends who gravitated to his quick wit and adventurous ways. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "John McCain wants to be buried near his Navy pal Chuck Larson, 'back where it all began'," 10 May 2018 But for other women, particularly women who gravitate in presidential elections toward the Republican Party, there were a combination of explanations. Constance Grady, Vox, "Hillary Clinton and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talk censorship, feminism, and Pizzagate," 24 Apr. 2018 This visualization of social media was propelled by young people who, bombarded by text messages, status updates and blog posts, gravitated to a simpler, faster and more expressive medium to tell their stories. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Bye Facebook, hello Instagram: Users make beeline for Facebook-owned social network," 22 Mar. 2018 With his gruff style and bushy mustache, the 72-year-old Soglin will be attempting to attract the kinds of supporters who gravitated to another lefty septuagenarian, former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Madison Mayor Paul Soglin enters Democratic primary to take on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker," 10 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gravitate.' 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 gravitate

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for gravitate

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gravitate

The first known use of gravitate was in 1692

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More Definitions for gravitate

gravitate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gravitate

: to move or tend to move to or toward someone or something

: to be attracted to or toward something or someone

gravitate

verb
grav·i·tate | \ˈgra-və-ˌtāt \
gravitated; gravitating

Kids Definition of gravitate

: to move or be drawn toward something

gravitate

intransitive verb
grav·i·tate | \ˈgrav-ə-ˌtāt \
gravitated; gravitating

Medical Definition of gravitate 

: to move under the influence of gravitation

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Comments on gravitate

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