gravitate

verb
grav·​i·​tate | \ ˈgra-və-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio) \
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

Some physically active menstruators, like dancers and athletes, gravitated toward another emerging product: tampons. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "How tampons and pads became so unsustainable," 6 Sep. 2019 It was also motivated, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, by a strategic belief that users will increasingly gravitate to services that offer more privacy. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Facebook Is Turning Off Its Facial Recognition Features By Default, Continuing a Pivot to Privacy," 3 Sep. 2019 No wonder that Beyoncé gravitated towards The Lion King. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Beyoncé Remixed the Meaning of The Lion King," 26 July 2019 But that progressives are gravitating toward like-minded policy wonk Warren could be another sign of trouble for Sanders, who has been overtaken by the Massachusetts senator in some recent polls. Ali Vitali, NBC News, "Elizabeth Warren jumps out to a big lead in MoveOn poll," 25 June 2019 Buscaino and Bonin said that for years, their constituents believed that, with sidewalk encampments allowed in their city and not in other communities nearby, homeless individuals would gravitate to their neighborhoods. Dorany Pineda, latimes.com, "Councilmen weigh legal action, saying other cities are pushing homeless into L.A.," 5 June 2019 But the Versa 2 isn't targeting people who would gravitate toward those devices. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Fitbit Versa 2 review: A solid replacement, but not totally remade," 9 Sep. 2019 The tendency in difficult situations can be to gravitate to seemingly easier extremes. The Christian Science Monitor, "Africa rises for immigrant rights," 6 Sep. 2019 The bottle list is heavily Italian, and anyone who gravitates toward nebbiolo should visit soon. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "A first visit to chef Tiffani Faison’s Orfano," 29 Aug. 2019

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 2019

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 How to pronounce gravitate (audio) \
gravitated; gravitating

Kids Definition of gravitate

: to move or be drawn toward something

gravitate

intransitive verb
grav·​i·​tate | \ ˈgrav-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio) \
gravitated; gravitating

Medical Definition of gravitate

: to move under the influence of gravitation

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More from Merriam-Webster on gravitate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gravitate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gravitate

Spanish Central: Translation of gravitate

Nglish: Translation of gravitate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on gravitate

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