noun, often attributive
grav·​i·​ty | \ ˈgra-və-tē How to pronounce gravity (audio) \
plural gravities

Definition of gravity

1a : dignity or sobriety of bearing a person of gravity and learning
b : importance, significance especially : seriousness the gravity of the offense
c : a serious situation or problem
2 : weight
3a(1) : the gravitational attraction of the mass of the earth, the moon, or a planet for bodies at or near its surface
(2) : a fundamental physical force that is responsible for interactions which occur because of mass between particles, between aggregations of matter (such as stars and planets), and between particles (such as photons) and aggregations of matter, that is 10-39 times the strength of the strong force, and that extends over infinite distances but is dominant over macroscopic distances especially between aggregations of matter

called also gravitation, gravitational force

— compare electromagnetism sense 2a, strong force, weak force

Examples of gravity in a Sentence

the hospital waiting room was filled with the kind of gravity that inevitably accompanies worry
Recent Examples on the Web The cessation of nuclear fusion ends the outward pressure that supports a star against the inward force of its own gravity. Robert Lea, Popular Mechanics, 9 Aug. 2022 The largest galaxies in the foreground are part of a galaxy cluster called SMACS 0723, so massive that its gravity warps the light coming from other, more distant galaxies. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 11 July 2022 Camped in the corner, his gravity will naturally create space for Cleveland’s attacking guards, leading to difficult pick-your-poison decisions. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 8 July 2022 What makes this variation of the overhead triceps extension so effective is that when your arms are in the straight position, you’re forced to fight against gravity differently due to the orientation of the weight. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 6 July 2022 In a sense, Evers is defying political gravity by outperforming both these trends — a Democratic president with low approval and a darkening public mood. Craig Gilbert, Journal Sentinel, 10 June 2022 Energy is the only sector defying gravity this year. Brett Owens, Forbes, 9 June 2022 But the showstopper to end all showstoppers — and the must-try toy — is the Stündenglass gravity bong. Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2022 Your only enemies are gravity and the laws of physics. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 3 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of gravity

1505, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gravity

Middle French or Latin; Middle French gravité, from Latin gravitat-, gravitas, from gravis — see grave entry 2

Learn More About gravity

Time Traveler for gravity

Time Traveler

The first known use of gravity was in 1505

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Dictionary Entries Near gravity



gravity anomaly

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Statistics for gravity

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gravity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for gravity


grav·​i·​ty | \ ˈgra-və-tē How to pronounce gravity (audio) \
plural gravities

Kids Definition of gravity

1 : a force of attraction that tends to draw particles or bodies together
2 : the attraction of bodies by the force of gravity toward the center of the earth
3 : great seriousness


grav·​i·​ty | \ ˈgrav-ət-ē How to pronounce gravity (audio) \
plural gravities

Medical Definition of gravity

1 : weight sense 1 used chiefly in the phrase center of gravity
2a : the gravitational attraction of the mass of the earth, the moon, or a planet for bodies at or near its surface broadly : gravitation

Other Words from gravity

gravity adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on gravity

Nglish: Translation of gravity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gravity for Arabic Speakers


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