phys·​ics | \ ˈfi-ziks How to pronounce physics (audio) \

Definition of physics

1 : a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions
2a : the physical processes and phenomena of a particular system
b : the physical properties and composition of something

Examples of physics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other winners this year included Yacov Eliashberg and Simon Donaldson for mathematics; Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Allan Macdonald and Rafi Bistritzer for physics; Cindy Sherman in art and Caroline Dean in agriculture. Washington Post, "Gene-editing tool’s pioneers win Israel’s Wolf Prize," 13 Jan. 2020 An astonishing 40% of high schools in the city do not teach chemistry, physics or upper-level algebra, notes Clara Hemphill, the founding editor of InsideSchools, an education-policy website. The Economist, "The dignity of all the talents A battle over gifted education is brewing in America," 9 Jan. 2020 The researchers’ solution to getting deep learning to work beyond flatland also has deep connections to physics. Quanta Magazine, "An Idea From Physics Helps AI See in Higher Dimensions," 9 Jan. 2020 Ronald Mallett, one of the world’s leading authorities on the arguments for the possibility of time travel, will celebrate his 45th anniversary as a University of Connecticut physics faculty member this year. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Guy Is Pretty Sure His Time Machine Would Work," 6 Jan. 2020 The only difference is that the time Bruce Wayne spent learning martial arts, Tony Stark dedicated it to study engineering and physics. Theo Karasavvas, Ars Technica, "How modern tech has powered our favorite superheroes through the years," 4 Jan. 2020 Two men were charged Friday with killing a 34-year-old physics specialist while stealing his laptop at a Starbucks coffee shop in a quiet hills neighborhood of Oakland earlier this week. Dominic Fracassa,, "Two charged with killing man during laptop theft at Oakland Starbucks," 3 Jan. 2020 In my father’s last year at MIT, a professorship opened up in the physics department. Longreads, "Jersey Girl," 2 Jan. 2020 After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics from North Carolina State University, Koch graduated from the NASA Academy program and worked at Goddard Space Flight Center. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Astronaut Christina Koch Breaks Record for Longest Spaceflight by a Woman," 28 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'physics.' 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 physics

1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for physics

Latin physica, plural, natural science, from Greek physika, from neuter plural of physikos of nature, from physis growth, nature, from phyein to bring forth — more at be

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Time Traveler for physics

Time Traveler

The first known use of physics was in 1715

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Statistics for physics

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Physics.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for physics


How to pronounce physics (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of physics

: a science that deals with matter and energy and the way they act on each other in heat, light, electricity, and sound


phys·​ics | \ ˈfi-ziks How to pronounce physics (audio) \

Kids Definition of physics

: a science that deals with the facts about matter and motion and includes the subjects of mechanics, heat, light, electricity, sound, and the atomic nucleus
phys·​ics | \ ˈfiz-iks How to pronounce physics (audio) \

Medical Definition of physics

: a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions in the fields of mechanics, acoustics, optics, heat, electricity, magnetism, radiation, atomic structure, and nuclear phenomena

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Comments on physics

What made you want to look up physics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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