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

But a 10% year-over-year sales decline last month showed that not even Geely can defy gravity in a sinking market. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "More Signs of Trouble in China’s Auto Market," 14 Nov. 2018 Tony Hawk just turned 50—50!—and after decades defying gravity, he's learned that a more down-to-earth lifestyle is an adrenaline rush. Jacob Feldman,, "How Does an Action Sports Superstar Age? Tony Hawk Is Figuring It Out on the Fly," 2 July 2018 Listeners from both sides of the pond were emulating the hairstyle that attempted to defy gravity. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Flock of Seagulls singer Mike Score recalls overnight success with 'I Ran': 'It was a bit much'," 28 June 2018 In fact, Dettori was in excellent spirits before even reaching the trophy stage, literally jumping out of the stirrups following his win and defying gravity in the process. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Had Such a Grand Old Time at the Horse Race," 19 June 2018 This process uses a tube to suck liquid from one container into another, somehow seeming to defy gravity. Ben Finio, Scientific American, "Walking Water," 3 May 2018 Those teeny tiny little straps that seem to defy gravity in holding up a top? Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "The early '00s are back and you're going to want to stock up on tube tops and spaghetti straps," 1 May 2018 While Trump seems to be defying political gravity, some prominent critics and observers are beginning to worry about longer term damage -- and not to the President's own political standing. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "An unbelievable week -- or just another week in Trump world," 27 Apr. 2018 In it, Ariana defies gravity and walks on the ceilings of chapels and sides of skyscrapers. Brianna Wiest, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's "No Tears Left to Cry" Has a Dizzy Connection to "High School Musical 3"," 25 Apr. 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

16 Apr 2019

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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on gravity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gravity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gravity

Spanish Central: Translation of gravity

Nglish: Translation of gravity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gravity for Arabic Speakers

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).


an enemy or opponent

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