gravitate

verb
grav·​i·​tate | \ ˈgra-və-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio) \
gravitated; gravitating

Definition of gravitate

intransitive verb

1 : to move under the influence of gravitation
2a : to move toward something
b : to be drawn or attracted especially by natural inclination youngsters … gravitate toward a strong leader— Rose Friedman

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English has several weighty words descended from the Latin gravitas, meaning "weight." The first to arrive on the scene was "gravity," which appeared in the early 16th century. (Originally meaning "dignity or sobriety of bearing," it quickly came to mean "weight" as well.) Next came "gravitation" (used to describe the force of gravity) and "gravitate" - both mid-17th century arrivals. "Gravitate" once meant "to apply weight or pressure," but that use is now obsolete. In the late 17th century, it was recorded in the sense "to move under the effect of gravitation." It then acquired a more general sense of "to move toward something" (as toward a specific location), and finally a metaphorical third sense of "to be attracted" (as toward a person or a vocation).

Examples of gravitate in a Sentence

The guests gravitated toward the far side of the room. The conversation gravitated to politics. Voters have started gravitating to him as a possible candidate. Many young people now gravitate toward careers in the computer industry.
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Recent Examples on the Web Why do so many racial groups gravitate toward Whiteness? John Blake, CNN, 4 Sep. 2021 The change encourages users to gravitate toward playlists—not coincidentally, the type of experience that the company can control, by offering its own curated streams. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 19 Aug. 2021 But as that part of its business starts to return to normal, and consumers gravitate to larger, more involved projects like bathroom remodels, Lowe's is taking steps to bolster its professional customer business. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 13 Apr. 2021 In larger groups our conversations gravitate towards the tangible, the measurable. Jony Ive, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2021 Many investors gravitate to companies that do it successfully. Elaine Pofeldt, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 Many gravitate to northern Virginia, the Maryland suburbs of D.C., and northern California – some of the most expensive housing markets in the country. Aamer Madhani, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Sep. 2021 Many gravitate to northern Virginia, the Maryland suburbs of D.C. and northern California — some of the most expensive housing markets in the country. Aamer Madhani, ajc, 16 Sep. 2021 While many natural winemakers gravitate toward lower alcohol contents and ever-lighter hues in their red wines, Avi Deixler excels with weightier, fuller reds. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gravitate.' 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 gravitate

1692, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for gravitate

Time Traveler

The first known use of gravitate was in 1692

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Dictionary Entries Near gravitate

gravitas

gravitate

gravitater

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Statistics for gravitate

Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gravitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gravitate. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for gravitate

gravitate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gravitate

: to move or tend to move to or toward someone or something
: to be attracted to or toward something or someone

gravitate

verb
grav·​i·​tate | \ ˈgra-və-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio) \
gravitated; gravitating

Kids Definition of gravitate

: to move or be drawn toward something

gravitate

intransitive verb
grav·​i·​tate | \ ˈgrav-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce gravitate (audio) \
gravitated; gravitating

Medical Definition of gravitate

: to move under the influence of gravitation

More from Merriam-Webster on gravitate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gravitate

Nglish: Translation of gravitate for Spanish Speakers

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