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 The chaos that ensues from the physics, explosions and tactically intelligent enemies are more than enough to occupy two heads. Washington Post, "The best games for couch co-op play," 3 July 2020 Simulating these complicated physics takes a lot of computing power and requires models to operate at a very fine scale. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Clouds May Be the Key to a Climate Modeling Mystery," 25 June 2020 The reactive touchscreen was invented by Dr. G. Samuel Hurst while studying atomic physics at the University of Kentucky. Larry Printz, Ars Technica, "The long, winding, technological road to GPS in every car," 24 June 2020 The feature that launched thousands of physics papers was the struggle within the lattice between heat and magnetism. Quanta Magazine, "The Cartoon Picture of Magnets That Has Transformed Science," 24 June 2020 The results may help geologists around the world better untangle the underlying physics of earthquakes both large and small. Riley D. Champine, National Geographic, "A strange earthquake swarm lasted for years. Scientists finally know why.," 18 June 2020 Thermal physics researcher Valentin Danilov served 8 years in prison after being convicted of spying for China in 2004. Henry Meyer,, "Russia Accuses Leading Arctic Scientist of Spying for China," 17 June 2020 Fundamental physics, says David Lindley, has lost its way. Andrew Crumey, WSJ, "‘The Dream Universe’ Review: Pulling on a String," 12 June 2020 But models, especially outside sciences like physics, are almost always wrong to some degree. Seán Mfundza Muller, Quartz Africa, "South Africa’s modeling for Covid-19 has been deeply flawed with major consequences," 9 June 2020

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

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Physics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 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


noun plural but singular or plural in construction
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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