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

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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

For Broadway fans, the announcement of a Wicked anniversary TV special was more than enough to send musical theater lovers into gravity-defying overdrive. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Kristin Chenoweth on Ariana Grande and "A Very Wicked Halloween"," 28 Oct. 2018 Or Fellini muse Claudia Cardinale’s gravity-defying bouffant and eyelash-grazing fringe in 8 1/2? Sophie Schulte-hillen, Vogue, "10 Italian Beauties Who Make the Case for La Dolce Vita," 18 Sep. 2018 Glittering in the sun during the day, glowing with waves of color at night, this 40-foot-tall marvel depicts a mother humpback whale and her calf in a gravity-defying dive. Harriot Manley,, "Burning Man comes and goes, but the experience is year-round in Reno," 28 June 2018 The Sky Pad is a gravity-defying trampoline zone that is paired with virtual reality goggles. Ellie Rushing,, "Royal Caribbean invests $120 million in one ship for short Bahamas cruises," 25 June 2018 Kirby Yates, who was claimed off waivers three weeks into last season and has developed a gravity-defying splitter, allowed just a single in a scoreless eighth inning. Kevin Acee,, "Padres bullpen beats Cardinals to even series," 12 June 2018 There were the open-wheel IndyCars, but IMSA's Weathertech Sportscar Championship was also present and correct, supported by the gravity-defying Super Stadium Trucks and the flame-spitting Trans-Am brigade. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Detroit Grand Prix in pictures," 5 June 2018 Sylphs are not human beings but mythological creatures — and the white filmy tutu emphasized their unearthly, gravity-defying quality. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Carrie Bradshaw’s Tutu Paradox," 1 June 2018 Passengers sit deep in the cars’ molded plastic seats and have a low center of gravity—all the better to navigate the ride’s gravity-defying acrobatics. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Six Flags Fiesta Texas' Wonder Woman coaster review," 1 May 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.

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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

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Statistics for gravity

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gravity

The first known use of gravity was in 1505

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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

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