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 Fox News crowd is twice as likely as other Republicans to say climate change isn’t caused by humans—the scientific consensus confirmed by decades upon decades (pdf) of studies (as well as the laws of physics). Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Young Republicans think GOP boomers are on the wrong side of the climate debate," 26 Nov. 2019 One of those alternatives is the axion, a particle first proposed as a way of solving problems in an unrelated area of physics called quantum chromodynamics. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Dark matter link to regular matter’s dominance fails to show up," 16 Nov. 2019 Its system could be used to produce numbers verifiably guaranteed by the laws of quantum physics to be random. Neil Savage, Scientific American, "Hands-On with Google’s Quantum Computer," 24 Oct. 2019 Since the awards were first given in 1901, only six women have ever won the physics prize, five the chemistry award, and 12 the medicine or physiology prize. Lila Guterman, Science | AAAS, "Statistically speaking, 2019 Nobel Prize lineup of 11 men and one woman was bound to happen," 15 Oct. 2019 Cosmic thoughts The physics prize was split two ways, but both halves went for discoveries beyond Earth. The Economist, "Batteries, exoplanets, cosmology and cell biology win Nobel laurels," 12 Oct. 2019 One Canadian and two Swiss scientists won the physics prize for their work in understanding how the universe has evolved from the Big Bang and the blockbuster discovery of a planet outside our solar system. cleveland, "‘Big Bang Theory’ gets shout out to Nobel Prize announcement," 8 Oct. 2019 Today, the Nobel Prize Committee awarded the physics prize to three researchers whose scientific discoveries have framed this cosmic vastness into a more comprehensible picture. Wired, "The Physics Nobel Goes to the Big Bang and Exoplanets," 8 Oct. 2019 The Nobel physics prize is handed out Tuesday, followed by the chemistry prize Wednesday. CBS News, "2 Americans among scientists who won Nobel Prize for medicine for finding out how cells use oxygen," 7 Oct. 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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Physics.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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 state or do over again or repeatedly

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