phys·​ics ˈfi-ziks How to pronounce physics (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions
: the physical processes and phenomena of a particular system
: the physical properties and composition of something

Examples of physics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An interdisciplinary team of faculty members, led by Professor Ingrid Paredes , have started to integrate sustainability into the first-year engineering curriculum at NYU Tandon, including General Engineering, mathematics, physics, expository writing, and more. IEEE Spectrum, 4 Dec. 2023 Similar to how the rules of physics cause apples to fall to the ground, there are rules governing how money works, and money in healthcare is no exception. Ge Bai, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Or, perhaps some unknown particle physics is at play. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Nov. 2023 In speeches, Huang has cited a visit to the office of Ting-Wai Chiu, a professor of physics at National Taiwan University, as giving him confidence during this time. Stephen Witt, The New Yorker, 27 Nov. 2023 What does a science kit usually contain? Science kits incorporate tools to interact and make discoveries about the planet, physics, the human body, weather, biology, chemistry, interesting reactions, and scientific facts. Cheryl Fenton, Parents, 22 Nov. 2023 And keep in mind that sea level rise will not unfold uniformly across US coastlines, due to quirks in the physics involved. WIRED, 14 Nov. 2023 Most consciousness researchers employ a reductionist view of the universe, where physics is running the show. Philip Goff, Scientific American, 7 Nov. 2023 Reiner still recalls being sent home from physics class at Beverly Hills High School after the news broke and spending the weekend transfixed by the wall-to-wall coverage. Stephen Battaglio, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'physics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of physics was in 1715

Dictionary Entries Near physics

Cite this Entry

“Physics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


phys·​ics ˈfiz-iks How to pronounce physics (audio)
: a science that deals with matter and energy and their actions upon each other in the fields of mechanics, heat, light, electricity, sound, and the atomic nucleus
: physical composition, characteristics, or processes
the physics of sound

Medical Definition


noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction
phys·​ics ˈfiz-iks How to pronounce physics (audio)
: 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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