gravity

noun

grav·​i·​ty ˈgra-və-tē How to pronounce gravity (audio)
plural gravities
often attributive
1
a
: dignity or sobriety of bearing
a person of gravity and learning
b
: importance, significance
especially : seriousness
the gravity of the offense
c
: a serious situation or problem
2
: weight
3
a(1)
: the gravitational attraction of the mass of the earth, the moon, or a planet for bodies at or near its surface
(2)
: a fundamental physical force that is responsible for interactions which occur because of mass between particles, between aggregations of matter (such as stars and planets), and between particles (such as photons) and aggregations of matter, that is 10-39 times the strength of the strong force, and that extends over infinite distances but is dominant over macroscopic distances especially between aggregations of matter

called also gravitation, gravitational force

compare electromagnetism sense 2a, strong force, weak force

Example Sentences

the hospital waiting room was filled with the kind of gravity that inevitably accompanies worry
Recent Examples on the Web The swarm results when Jupiter is close enough to pull on the streams with its gravity, causing debris to condense and creating a spike in fireballs. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 11 Nov. 2022 Cotofana says the goal of his work is to help clinicians confirm their instincts or guide them toward new ways of diagnosing and treating patients who are responding to gravity in their own unique ways. Jamie Rosen, Town & Country, 30 Oct. 2022 There’s a moment in every baseball season where the grind gives way to gravity, and 156 one-day-at-a-time narratives collapse in the face of a big game. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2022 Yet some stocks have managed to defy market gravity. Lucy Brewster, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2022 But as soon as one extra crystal crosses the tipping point, the structure will succumb to gravity and fall. Daniel Stone, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Aug. 2022 Visitors may look to defy gravity, shrink to miniature or become puzzled with some education thrown in. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 22 July 2022 The rains slowly wash away the softer outer layers, leaving harder materials in place and often in shapes that seem to defy gravity. Eric Mack, Forbes, 8 June 2022 That people are willing to go to such lengths in pursuit of one predatory mammal is a testament to the gravity of the biodiversity crisis in New Zealand. New York Times, 5 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gravity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French or Latin; Middle French gravité, from Latin gravitat-, gravitas, from gravis — see grave entry 2

First Known Use

1505, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of gravity was in 1505

Dictionary Entries Near gravity

Cite this Entry

“Gravity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gravity. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

gravity

noun

grav·​i·​ty ˈgrav-ət-ē How to pronounce gravity (audio)
plural gravities
1
a
: the quality or state of being dignified and proper
b
: the quality or state of being important or serious
2
: weight
3
a
: the gravitational attraction of the mass of a heavenly body (as the earth) for bodies at or near its surface
b
: a force of attraction between particles or bodies that occurs because of their mass, is stronger as mass is increased, and is weaker as the distance between the objects is increased

Medical Definition

gravity

noun

grav·​i·​ty ˈgrav-ət-ē How to pronounce gravity (audio)
plural gravities
1
: weight sense 1
used chiefly in the phrase center of gravity
2
a
: the gravitational attraction of the mass of the earth, the moon, or a planet for bodies at or near its surface
broadly : gravitation
gravity adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on gravity

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