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

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Examples of velocity in a Sentence

particles moving at high velocities measuring the velocity of sound the velocity of a bullet
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Recent Examples on the Web This goes along with another rough definition of temperature: Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in an object (where kinetic energy depends on both the mass and the velocity). Rhett Allain, Wired, "The Science of Temperature Is Weirder Than You Think," 14 May 2020 Having the starting pitcher enter later in the game allows him to go deeper into games while keeping his pitch count down and velocity up. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "UIndy baseball embraces analytics, using opener to jumpstart shortened season," 10 May 2020 The reentry velocity for a spacecraft returning from the Moon is just under 11km/s. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "China’s new spacecraft—which resembles a Crew Dragon—just landed," 8 May 2020 So by the time the seventh rolled around and the stadium began to fill with the electric anticipation of a no-hitter, Verlander turned the extra amps into extra velocity without losing control. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers flashback: Justin Verlander becomes elite with second no-hitter in 2011," 7 May 2020 The star’s velocity was so extreme that astronomers suspected a third object was lurking nearby and flinging it around. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Astronomers Just Found a Black Hole Near Earth," 6 May 2020 Passionate velocity often crashes into a sort of nascent relationship terror with equal force. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, "Ask Amy: ‘Boy problems’ resurface in middle age," 4 May 2020 While slow velocities are a big part of the reason the .30/30 is considered a 150-yard deer cartridge, the flat-nose and round-nose bullets share much of the blame. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "2 Tricks to Make Your .30/30 More Effective Beyond 150 Yards," 29 Apr. 2020 The sheer velocity of the market’s decline—the S&P 500 fell 31% in a month’s time from late February through late March—could scarcely be mitigated by dividends. Ryan Derousseau, Fortune, "Where investors can find income in a coronavirus-crushed market," 27 Apr. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for velocity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for velocity

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Velocity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for velocity


How to pronounce velocity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of velocity

: quickness of motion


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

Kids Definition of velocity

: quickness of motion : speed

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