English edit

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Etymology edit

Learned borrowing from Latin gravitās (weight) (compare French gravité), from gravis (heavy). Doublet of gravitas. First attested in the 16th century.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈɡɹævɪti/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: grav‧i‧ty
  • Rhymes: -ævɪti

Noun edit

gravity (countable and uncountable, plural gravities)

  1. The state or condition of having weight; weight; heaviness.
    Synonym: weightfulness
  2. The state or condition of being grave; seriousness.
    Synonyms: graveness, seriousness
    I hope you appreciate the gravity of the situation.
    • 1947 March 12, Harry S. Truman, 1:05 from the start, in MP72-14 Excerpt - Truman Doctrine Speech[1], Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives Identifier: 595162:
      The gravity of the situation which confronts the world today necessitates my appearance before a joint session of the Congress. The foreign policy and the national security of this country are involved.
    • 1990 E.E.O.C. v. University of Detroit, 904 F.2d 331
      Since I believe that abortion is absolutely wrong I must choose the course that minimizes the support of it. The gravity of this issue is so great that I must consider my job expendable.
    • 2011 September 3, Daniel Indiviglio, “August's Big Reversal for Manufacturing and Retail Jobs”, in The Atlantic[2]:
      Could the month's poor performance in these two sectors reveal the true gravity of the labor market's woes?
  3. (music) The lowness of a note.
  4. (physics) The force at the Earth's surface, of the attraction by the Earth's masses, and the centrifugal pseudo-force caused by the Earth's rotation, resulting from gravitation.
    • 1950 January, Howard Hayes, “You and Gravity”, in The Atlantic[3]:
      Do you know that gravity is pulling at you, tugging at you, trying to drag you down, from the moment you awake in the morning till you tumble into bed at night?
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly[4], volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next [] .
  5. (loosely, see usage notes) Gravitation, the universal force exercised by two bodies onto each other.
    • 2012 January, Michael Riordan, “Tackling Infinity”, in American Scientist[5], volume 100, number 1, archived from the original on 2012-01-26, page 86:
      Some of the most beautiful and thus appealing physical theories, including quantum electrodynamics and quantum gravity, have been dogged for decades by infinities that erupt when theorists try to prod their calculations into new domains. Getting rid of these nagging infinities has probably occupied far more effort than was spent in originating the theories.
  6. (physics) Specific gravity.

Usage notes edit

In the physics sense gravity and gravitation are sometimes used interchangeably in casual discussion.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References edit