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

His staged, performative actions, carried out for both still and film cameras, enlist gravity as a tool of self-negation, concealment and potential harm. Leah Ollman,, "Bas Jan Ader disappeared at sea at age 33. His art still haunts," 5 July 2019 The cars are usually shaped like bobsleds and run down sloped hills, gravity creating speeds up to 25 mph. Washington Post, "Ski resorts not just for winter anymore," 3 July 2019 Byrne sees this as an inevitable and irrefutable universal law, a bit like gravity. Vicky Spratt,, "Can Everyone Please Stop Telling Me To Read The Secret?It's Not Helping," 2 July 2019 Pulling a trigger and then flipping the rear-wheel under the bike is, however, very satisfying, as is the effortless clamping of the handlebar to the frame as gravity guides it into place. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "Brompton Electric bike review: remarkably practical," 2 July 2019 And researchers said Jupiter may have created some of its own interstellar travelers by sneaking some of its icy objects through the sun’s gravity field and into foreign solar systems. Fox News, "Mysterious interstellar object Oumuamua is not an alien spaceship but scientists are still baffled," 2 July 2019 In 2016, before the referendum, the City of London’s trajectory was better than that of New York as gravity shifted eastward to Asia, says William Wright of New Financial. The Economist, "London’s reign as the world’s capital of capital is at risk," 29 June 2019 Captured on the reels are Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon and Buzz Aldrin’s demonstration of lunar gravity. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "'Lost' tapes of first moonwalk to be sold; former NASA intern may make millions," 28 June 2019 Then gravity kicks in and pulls it down so that the batter spreads out, gradually becoming (ideally) uniform. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "No more lumps: Let physics be your guide to making the perfect crepe," 28 June 2019

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

9 Jul 2019

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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

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