velocity

play
noun ve·loc·i·ty \və-ˈlä-sə-tē, -ˈlä-stē\

Definition of velocity

plural

velocities

  1. 1a :  quickness of motion :  speed <the velocity of sound>b :  rapidity of movement <[my horse's] strong suit is grace & personal comeliness, rather than velocity — Mark Twain>c :  speed imparted to something <the power pitcher relies on velocity — Tony Scherman>

  2. 2 :  the rate of change of position along a straight line with respect to time :  the derivative of position with respect to time

  3. 3a :  rate of occurrence or action :  rapidity <the velocity of historical change — R. J. Lifton>b :  rate of turnover <the velocity of money>

Examples of velocity in a sentence

  1. particles moving at high velocities

  2. measuring the velocity of sound

  3. the velocity of a bullet

Origin and Etymology of velocity

Middle English velocite, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French veloceté, borrowed from Latin vēlōcitāt-, vēlōcitās, from vēlōc-, vēlōx “swift, rapid” (of uncertain origin) + -itāt-, -itās -ity If going back to earlier *ueg-s-l-o-, perhaps a derivative from the base of vegēre “to give vigor to, enliven” (see vegetate) or vehere “to convey” (Indo-European *u̯eǵh-; see vehicle), assimilated to the -ōk- of ātrōx, ferōx (see atrocious, ferocious). Alternatively, a derivative *uē-lo-, from the Indo-European base *h2u̯eh1- “blow” (hence, “windlike”; see 1wind) has been suggested.


First Known Use: 15th century


VELOCITY Defined for English Language Learners

velocity

play
noun ve·loc·i·ty \və-ˈlä-sə-tē, -ˈlä-stē\

Definition of velocity for English Language Learners

  • : quickness of motion


VELOCITY Defined for Kids

velocity

play
noun ve·loc·i·ty \və-ˈlä-sə-tē\

Definition of velocity for Students

plural

velocities

  1. :  quickness of motion :  speed



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up velocity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a principle or belief held by a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ