velocity

noun ve·loc·i·ty \ və-ˈlä-sə-tē , -ˈlä-stē \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of velocity

plural velocities
1 a : 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
3 a : 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

Recent Examples of velocity from the Web

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.

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
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 1wind) has been suggested.

VELOCITY Defined for English Language Learners

velocity

noun

Definition of velocity for English Language Learners

  • : quickness of motion


VELOCITY Defined for Kids

velocity

noun ve·loc·i·ty \ və-ˈlä-sə-tē \

Definition of velocity for Students

plural velocities
: quickness of motion : speed


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