ve·​loc·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈlä-sə-tē How to pronounce velocity (audio) , -ˈlä-stē \
plural velocities

Definition of velocity

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

particles moving at high velocities measuring the velocity of sound the velocity of a bullet
Recent Examples on the Web But Candelario tagged the slower-than-usual fastball, which traveled 430 feet with a 108.3 mph exit velocity. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 18 May 2022 Center fielder Mike Trout made a leaping catch in the fourth to rob Abreu of a hit on a ball with a 103.9 mph exit velocity, according to MLB Statcast. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 30 Apr. 2022 The 415-foot line drive from Báez, which had a 108.6 mph exit velocity, gave the Tigers (6-10) a one-run lead against Twins right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan. Evan Petzold, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2022 Mehretu is known for complex abstract images that evoke vast landscapes and deep spaces, with networks of lines, patterns, and colors that appear to zoom across and through her images at high velocity. Steven Litt, cleveland, 31 Mar. 2022 Watching the finish Watch for a powerful and clean finish in which the ball is dunked at a high velocity without bumping the rim. Justin Barber, The Conversation, 18 Feb. 2022 Generally speaking, new talent brings in a need and desire to operate at a higher velocity, which creates a reliable blueprint for operating efficiently in the digital era. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 31 Jan. 2022 The dry mass of the Falcon 9's second stage is about 4 metric tons, and the stage should impact the Moon at a velocity of about 2.58 km/s. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 28 Jan. 2022 The rocket is projected to touch down at a velocity of about 2.58 kilometers a second, or about 5,770 mph. Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'velocity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of velocity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

Note: 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 wind entry 1) has been suggested.

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The first known use of velocity was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near velocity



velocity function

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Statistics for velocity

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Velocity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for velocity


ve·​loc·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈlä-sə-tē How to pronounce velocity (audio) \
plural velocities

Kids Definition of velocity

: quickness of motion : speed

More from Merriam-Webster on velocity

Nglish: Translation of velocity for Spanish Speakers

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


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