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

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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 The loss felt seismic, and Zauner forcefully articulates the gravity of losing a parent at a pivotal age. Mayukh Sen, The Atlantic, "What Grief Tastes Like," 21 Apr. 2021 The visit underscored the gravity of his announcement Wednesday. Stephen Collinson And Maeve Reston, CNN, "Biden starts to execute on policies Trump abandoned by crossing off another campaign promise," 15 Apr. 2021 This is an important job, so discuss the gravity of this undertaking. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: Utah’s first independent redistricting commission kicks off this week, but will its work matter?," 11 Apr. 2021 The Soviet government, at the time in charge of Ukraine, concealed the details of the explosion and downplayed the gravity of the deadly accident. Mariya Manzhos, Washington Post, "I Had No Plans to Become an American. . .," 24 Mar. 2021 The blame game is on, exacerbated by the record of a president, Donald Trump, who rarely acknowledged the gravity of the crisis and routinely distorted it. Calvin Woodward,, "Huge spending, nearly unprecedented deaths: The surreal stats of the COVID year," 13 Mar. 2021 Inside, Maggie and Amelia explain to Zola the gravity of her mother being on a ventilator. Lincee Ray,, "Grey's Anatomy recap: A major character dies in heartbreaking midseason premiere," 12 Mar. 2021 To understand the gravity of this threat, just look to Wayfair, the U.S.-based furniture and home décor e-commerce company, which was recently the target of a viral conspiracy theory. Lisa Kaplan, Fortune, "Disinformation attacks are spreading. Here are 4 keys to protecting your company," 8 Mar. 2021 The ban was reduced to five years after Haney’s appeal, but that’s still an extraordinary length of time and reflects the gravity of the abuse. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Laurie Hernandez accomplishes what she wanted in first meet since Rio Olympics," 27 Feb. 2021

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 2

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Time Traveler for gravity

Time Traveler

The first known use of gravity was in 1505

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Statistics for gravity

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gravity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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
technical : 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 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

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