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

The late break on his sinker is back, and the velocity on his sinker and slider are up 2 mph from last month. Eduardo A. Encina,, "As Orioles work to trade closer Zach Britton, he's showing suitors he's only getting better," 14 July 2018 While fastball velocity has been rising steadily, the frequency with which that pitch is thrown is declining, falling (according to Fangraphs) from 64.4 percent in 2002 to 55.2 percent this year. Alex Speier,, "What’s up with all the strikeouts in Major League Baseball?," 12 July 2018 The easy crutch is to say it’s all about his diminished velocity, which has gone from 94.1 mph on his fastball in 2014 to 90.3 mph this season. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Twitter mailbag: Will Felix Hernandez pitch in the postseason if the Mariners make it? Cano to first base? And Magnum P.I.?," 9 July 2018 The velocity on the throw was impressive, nevertheless. Jeff Mclane,, "Eagles practice observations: Sidney Jones held back with 'soreness;' Carson Wentz dials it up; Darren Sproles takes mental reps," 12 June 2018 Stripling’s velocity is nothing special, at 91.9 mph on average, and his swinging-strike rate of 10.4% is good but not spectacular (and actually down from last season). Jon Tayler,, "The Dodgers Are Back in Contention Thanks to a Host of Unlikely Contributors," 5 June 2018 The exit velocity on Cordero’s homer was 111.6 mph. Kevin Acee,, "Lauer strong, Padres falter in ninth against Nationals," 22 May 2018 The exit velocity on the seventh-inning RBI double was 116 mph, and somehow the wall didn't topple over. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Yes, it's incredibly early, but the bullpen has been a bright spot | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 31 Mar. 2018 The extent to which the public finds him credible, or at least sympathetic, will affect the company’s stock price, the velocity of the #DeleteFacebook movement, and, possibly, the company’s long-term survival. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Mark Zuckerberg’s Apology Tour," 23 Mar. 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

25 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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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