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

Harvey has struggled to maintain fastball velocity since undergoing thoracic outlet surgery in 2016. Andy Mccullough,, "Angels pitcher Matt Harvey rejoins team as his rehabilitation continues," 5 July 2019 Then, the ascent engine would fire, doing its best to add velocity back to the descending ship, attempting to push it back into some kind of stable orbit so that the crew could find and rendezvous with the Command Module. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "No, a “checklist error” did not almost derail the first moon landing," 5 July 2019 My slider has been really good; my ‘velo’ (velocity) has ticked up. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers are counting on Corbin Burnes to be a force in the pen once again in the second half," 1 July 2019 According to Statcast, the ball traveled 457 feet and had a 112.2 mph exit velocity. Bobby Nightengale,, "Eugenio Suárez blasts Cincinnati Reds' 3rd-longest home run in Statcast era," 30 June 2019 Statcast estimated the homer's exit velocity at 112 mph. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Joey Gallo's home run lands in Comerica Park concourse," 5 July 2018 Nobody’s in the stands charting pitches and writing down velocities from the opposing pitchers. Phil Thompson,, "Willy Garcia — he of the White Sox’s all-Garcia outfield in 2017 — is trying to get back to the majors with the Winnipeg Goldeyes," 28 June 2019 Five of them sent his pitches screaming back at velocities greater than 100 mph. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Pirates make quick work of Brad Peacock, Astros," 27 June 2019 Bumgarner's velocity is fine, with his fastball averaging a mile an hour more than last year. Henry Schulman,, "Bumgarner trade-o-meter lights up with 11-strikeout performance in Giants win," 25 June 2019

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

17 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce velocity (audio) \
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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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