gravitate

verb

grav·​i·​tate ˈgra-və-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio)
gravitated; gravitating

intransitive verb

1
: to move under the influence of gravitation
2
a
: to move toward something
b
: to be drawn or attracted especially by natural inclination
youngsters … gravitate toward a strong leaderRose Friedman

Did you know?

The force is strong in the family of words descended from the Latin adjective gravis, meaning “heavy”: gravitation has it, graviton has it, and gravitate has it, too. That force is gravity (gravity being another gravis descendent), a fundamental physical force that is responsible for bringing us literally back down to earth (or Tattooine, as it were). But you don’t have to be a full-fledged linguistic Jedi, young padawan, to know that gravity, like its Latin ancestor, also has figurative meanings, as does gravitate. When it first landed in the 17th century, gravitate meant “to apply pressure or weight,” and later it maintained its connection to literal gravity with a sense (still in use today) meaning “to move under the effect of gravitation.” It then, however, acquired a more general sense of “to move toward something” (such as toward a specific location), and finally a metaphorical sense of “to be attracted,” as in, “when choosing movies to watch she often gravitates toward space operas.”

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Still, there’s a deeper reason why generations of stylish travelers have gravitated to Marrakech, seeking to channel its unique spirit of glamour and grit. Liam Hess, Vogue, 5 July 2024 Those costs are felt by collectors too, who Meloche said continue to gravitate toward paintings, due to the efficacy in those costs. Devorah Lauter, ARTnews.com, 4 July 2024 Department stores have lost relevance as their primary customers skew older, and younger ones gravitate to other shopping options. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, 4 July 2024 But as modern daters continue to gravitate towards meeting people on the apps rather than out and about, that question is becoming much muddier. Myisha Battle, TIME, 30 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for gravitate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gravitate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gravitate was in 1692

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Dictionary Entries Near gravitate

Cite this Entry

“Gravitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gravitate. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

gravitate

verb
grav·​i·​tate ˈgrav-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio)
gravitated; gravitating
: to move or tend to move toward something

Medical Definition

gravitate

intransitive verb
grav·​i·​tate ˈgrav-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio)
gravitated; gravitating
: to move under the influence of gravitation

More from Merriam-Webster on gravitate

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