Definition: Gravity

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Gravity)


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


gravity (countable and uncountable, plural gravities)

  1. The state or condition of having weight; heaviness.
  2. The state or condition of being grave; seriousness.
    I hope you understand the gravity of the situation.
  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.
  5. (loosely, see usage notes) Gravitation, the universal force exercised by two bodies onto each other.
  6. (physics) Specific gravity.
    The moon's gravity is smaller than that of Earth.

Usage notes

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

Derived terms

  • acceleration of gravity
  • anti-gravity
  • center of gravity
  • gravitation
  • graviton
  • microgravity
  • quantum gravity
  • standard gravity
  • zero gravity


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