Definition of gravitate
- youngsters … gravitate toward a strong leader
- —Rose Friedman
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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.
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.
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).
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