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 Parker Solar Probe uses Venus' gravity to orbit closer and closer to the Sun. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Measures Radio Signal in Venus’ Upper Atmosphere," 7 May 2021 At 6-feet-0 and 209 pounds, Coyle ran a blazing 4.41 40-yard dash and 4.02 short shuttle while defying gravity with a 39-inch vertical and 11-foot-1 broad jump — all of that will translate well to the football field. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 undrafted free agents with the best chance to make the Cowboys’ roster," 7 May 2021 However, only a fraction of Earth's gravity will be simulated here, allowing guests to experience somewhat of a weightlessness experience, while still being able to keep their feet on the ground. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "The World’s First Space Hotel Is Slated to Open in 2027—and There Are Long Term Lease Options Available," 6 May 2021 At least on earth, where gravity can cause small crystals to form that lessen signal strength when turned into long cables. Dan Gamota, Forbes, "Manufacturing In Outer Space: Not Such A Far-Out Idea," 6 May 2021 By bringing quantum effects into the macroscopic realm—or, put another way, returning classical objects to their true quantum selves—Sillanpää hopes to investigate quantum gravity. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Scientists Supersize Quantum Effects with Entangled Drum Duet," 6 May 2021 Researchers conducting the experiment sent the case of Bordeaux to study how space, with differing levels of gravity and radiation than on Earth, would affect the wines' aging. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Space wine: Bottle of Bordeaux that spent more than a year in orbit up for sale for reported $1 million," 5 May 2021 This was the third Venus gravity assist for the Parker Solar Probe. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Parker Solar Probe detects a radio signal from Venus' atmosphere," 4 May 2021 Water will release the chemical hold of the perm, wilting your brows back to gravity's will. Sable Yong, Allure, "Brow Lamination Gave Me the Fluffiest Brows I've Ever Had," 4 May 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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Learn More about gravity

Time Traveler for gravity

Time Traveler

The first known use of gravity was in 1505

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Statistics for gravity

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gravity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 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

Comments on gravity

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