phys·​ics | \ˈfi-ziks \

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

Barry Garraway, a professor of quantum physics at the University of Sussex in the England who is not involved with CAL, said in an email. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Space station experiment will create the coldest spot in the universe," 22 June 2018 As Pletcher describes it, the multidirectional road to the Derby is not exactly quantum physics. Childs Walker,, "Like the sun rising in the East, Todd Pletcher is back with four Kentucky Derby contenders," 2 May 2018 But no matter how perfect one’s knowledge of conditions may be, since quantum physics seems to propose existence exhibits true randomness, perhaps even an omniscient God cannot fully know. Rabbi David Wolpe, Time, "Why We Shouldn't Be So Sure of Our Predictions About the Future," 20 Apr. 2018 Mathematical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking was best known for his work exploring the relationship between black holes and quantum physics. Christoph Adami, Newsweek, "How Stephen Hawking's Black Hole Discoveries Rewrote Physics of Space-Time," 19 Mar. 2018 An anesthesiologist develops a fringe theory about quantum physics and consciousness. Discover Magazine, "Table of Contents March 2018," 9 Mar. 2018 Of 193 lab techs in art, chemistry, biology, engineering and physics departments, 36% said their lab training was ineffective or missing important information. Joy Resmovits,, "A chemical spill, unchecked eyewash stations, poor training: Audit details Cal State's lax lab safety," 25 Apr. 2018 Stan Natonek, physics teacher at Richards High School, explained the science behind the aesthetic allure of the setting sun’s spectacle. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "People gather at waterfronts to watch the sun set on the Southland," 11 July 2018 The latest anti-cheating weapon to discover such devices is a wand the education officials said was invented by an Iraqi physics teacher. Isabel Coles And, WSJ, "Make-or-Break Exams Bring Out the Best and Brightest Cheaters," 5 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about physics

Statistics for physics

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for physics

The first known use of physics was in 1715

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for physics



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 \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on physics

Spanish Central: Translation of physics

Nglish: Translation of physics for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of physics for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about physics

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).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!