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

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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

Have armor capable of absorbing repeated high-velocity rifle fire. Indianapolis Star, "Bloomington Police get OK from mayor to purchase armored vehicle," 29 Mar. 2018 The future That Wells does it all with below-average velocity and needs to be precise with his three-pitch mix means those challenges, and the questions that will stem from them, will dog him throughout his career. Jon Meoli,, "One for the future: Evaluating Orioles prospect Alex Wells," 12 July 2018 Various factors are cited for pitchers blowing out their UCLs: pitching excessive innings over a number of years, throwing with excessive velocity, the strain of throwing curveballs and sliders, fatigue, poor mechanics. Craig Davis,, "Former Douglas star Jesus Luzardo rebounds from Tommy John surgery to promising big-league prospect," 28 June 2018 At his peak, Arrieta could overpower hitters with velocity that crept up to 94-95 mph. Scott Lauber,, "Should the Phillies be concerned about Jake Arrieta? | Extra Innings," 27 June 2018 Replays of that decisive set show Serena gingerly touching her pec muscle, looking uncomfortable on first serves that were hit with no velocity and, most tellingly, walking off the court without her bag. Chris Chase, For The Win, "Serena v. Sharapova: The brief history of a burning non-rivalry," 4 June 2018 Those were two of what seemed like, oh, 30 balls hit with a 100 mph exit velocity. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Is 'Big Sexy' losing his appeal?," 2 June 2018 In four hitless innings against him, the Astros put one ball in play with an exit velocity harder than 91 mph. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Homesick: Astros' woes at MMP continue with shutout loss to Rangers," 12 May 2018 The bowling example highlights that the screens could be placed at an angle, with the velocity of in-game objects influenced by those angles. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Nintendo’s New Patent Describes A Joyfully Weird Multi-Touchscreen Game System," 15 Apr. 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.

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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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Statistics for velocity

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for velocity

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

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More Definitions for velocity



English Language Learners Definition of velocity

: quickness of motion


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

Kids Definition of velocity

: quickness of motion : speed

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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