noun, often attributive
grav·i·ty | \ˈgra-və-tē \
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

b : acceleration of gravity

c : specific gravity

Keep scrolling for more

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 two have devised a scheme that could, for example, raise a particle against the pull of gravity just by trying to measure its position over and over again. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Quantum measurements could power a tiny, hyper-efficient engine," 10 July 2018 In the absence of gravity, the bubbles will remain in the liquid—even though they have been forced away from the catalyst itself. Charles W. Dunnill, Scientific American, "Method of Making Oxygen from Water in Zero Gravity Raises Hope for Long-Distance Space Travel," 10 July 2018 The theory is mathematically gorgeous, astonishingly self-consistent and even explains why the existence of gravity is inevitable. Graham Farmelo, WSJ, "‘Lost in Math’ Review: The Beauty Myth," 22 June 2018 During the service, Hawking's ashes will be interred near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton, the English physicist and mathematician whose work led to the formulation of the law of gravity, and Charles Darwin, who devised the theory of evolution. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Stephen Hawking's voice will be beamed into space toward 'nearest black hole'," 15 June 2018 Abandoning racial categories almost seems as futile as trying to ignore the law of gravity. John Blake, CNN, "The blurring of racial lines won't save America. Why 'racial fluidity' is a con," 11 June 2018 In a surprise turn of events, Grande walks across a thin copper wire over a field, holding onto large balloons that seemingly help her defy gravity and float like a gymnast over the verdant scene. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Ariana Grande's Epic 'God Is a Woman' Video, Decoded," 13 July 2018 It was taught to this generation of academics as akin to the law of gravity, but has since become the political-science equivalent of believing Earth to be flat. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Not to be outdone by her thong bikini-wearing sisters, Kardashian showed off several winning swimsuits—including a barely-there number from On Girls Swim that defied the laws of gravity. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Is Kourtney Kardashian Having the Best Summer Ever?," 9 July 2018

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.

See More

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 4

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gravity

Statistics for gravity

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gravity

The first known use of gravity was in 1505

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gravity



English Language Learners Definition of gravity

: a very serious quality or condition : the condition of being grave or serious

: the natural force that tends to cause physical things to move towards each other : the force that causes things to fall towards the Earth


grav·i·ty | \ˈgra-və-tē \
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 \
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

b : acceleration of gravity

c : specific gravity

Other Words from gravity

gravity adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on gravity

What made you want to look up gravity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!