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

Stewart, Friedman and their colleagues are in the research group of cosmologist Philip Lubin, a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has a lot of space-laser experience. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Student Project Scans Sky for Alien Laser Beams," 29 Sep. 2018 The first foray into this poop-tastic piece of physics happened during the '50s, with a particularly groundbreaking (and skin-crawling) piece of research emerging in 1975, when Charles P. Gerba published a study in the journal Applied Microbiology. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Please, for the Love of God, Close the Toilet Lid When You Flush," 20 Aug. 2018 To win, hoist an uncooperative toddler in the air the most times without breaking your back or any laws of physics. James Breakwell, Indianapolis Star, "Xploding Unicorn: Parenting Olympics would judge you with cold, hard numbers," 4 Apr. 2018 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, baltimoresun.com, "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

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

21 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

physics

noun

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

physics

noun
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

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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