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 Yes, there are two launch angles for the ball's velocity. Rhett Allain, Wired, "2 Baseballs Collided at an MLB Game. How Did That Even Happen?," 10 May 2021 The thrusters have to change the spacecraft's velocity by 595 miles per hour (958 kilometers per hour) to put OSIRIS-Rex on a course to catch up with Earth. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA spacecraft carrying history-making asteroid sample will head toward Earth," 10 May 2021 This unreasonable expectation of always being available is harmful to promotion velocity and also exacerbates overall career burnout. Tanya Tarr, Forbes, "Why These Two Policies Are Vital To Working Moms And Post-Pandemic Recovery," 9 May 2021 Cora was encouraged by Sawamura’s velocity Friday, which came in at 97-98, "Michael Chavis makes an immediate impact in return to Red Sox lineup," 8 May 2021 Donaldson's home run registered a 113.1 mph exit velocity — the hardest hit against Urena. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers score five runs in 7th inning for 7-3 win over Minnesota Twins," 8 May 2021 The vast majority of VTOL concepts, electric or otherwise, over the past few years have relied on a propeller system to create lift and velocity. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "The Jetoptera J-2000 VTOL Concept Uses Dyson-Style ‘Bladeless Fans’ to Fly," 3 May 2021 Because of his velocity jump, the delivery work, and the pitch mix, Bradish is one of the top pitching prospects in the organization, at least in the Orioles’ estimation. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles reset: Emerging prospect Kyle Bradish illustrates promise, mystery of minor league baseball’s return," 3 May 2021 Pitchers adapted during the shutdown, using that time to build velocity and develop new pitches. Jake Seiner,, "Minor-league baseball returns for the 1st time since 2019. Here’s what’s new — including 40 fewer affiliates.," 3 May 2021

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

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

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Statistics for velocity

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Velocity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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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