velocity

noun
ve·​loc·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈlä-sə-tē , -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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of velocity in a Sentence

particles moving at high velocities measuring the velocity of sound the velocity of a bullet
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

After throwing for about 10 minutes, Danny increased the pace and — judging from the popping of the mitt — the velocity. David Haugh, The Seattle Times, "Laughter, optimism surround ex-Mariner Danny Farquhar after brain aneurysm," 17 July 2018 The big-league-caliber velocity that made the pro scouts salivate was gone. Alexa Philippou, The Seattle Times, "The most interesting man in baseball? It might be Mariners bullpen coach Brian DeLunas," 28 Aug. 2018 After throwing for about 10 minutes, Danny increased the pace and — judging from the popping of the mitt — the velocity. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Operating on Danny Farquhar's brain didn't change what was in White Sox pitcher's heart," 12 July 2018 Fiers may not have the flashy velocity or eye-popping strikeout numbers that others around the league might. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Mike Fiers continues to show dependability, value," 28 June 2018 The exit velocity on Houston’s batted balls averaged 87.6 mph. Maria Torres, kansascity, "After Brandon Maurer blows ninth-inning lead, Royals lose to Astros in 12 innings," 23 June 2018 Cash added that coincidentally the Astros will pitched two starters in Cole and Justin Verlander who unleash the same rarified velocity. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Alex Bregman’s walk-off double gives Astros 12th straight win," 19 June 2018 And so the considerable emotional velocity of the first two volumes springs from an unlikely source. New York Times, "Rachel Cusk Strips the Novel Down to Its Frame. Again.," 6 June 2018 The car in question—a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo—apparently tries to protect its driver from the law by slightly exaggerating its velocity. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Can Driving the Inside Lane on the Highway Shorten Your Trip?," 16 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about velocity

Statistics for velocity

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for velocity

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for velocity

velocity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of velocity

: quickness of motion

velocity

noun
ve·​loc·​i·​ty | \ və-ˈlä-sə-tē \
plural velocities

Kids Definition of velocity

: quickness of motion : speed

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on velocity

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

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!