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[grav-i-tey-shuh n] /ˌgræv ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
  1. the force of attraction between any two masses.
  2. an act or process caused by this force.
a sinking or falling.
a movement or tendency toward something or someone:
the gravitation of people toward the suburbs.
Origin of gravitation
First recorded in 1635-45, gravitation is from the New Latin word gravitātiōn- (stem of gravitātiō). See gravitate, -ion
Related forms
gravitational, adjective
gravitationally, adverb
antigravitation, adjective
antigravitational, adjective
antigravitationally, adverb
nongravitation, noun
nongravitational, adjective
nongravitationally, adverb
supergravitation, noun
ungravitational, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gravitational
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Probably it detected us as soon as we entered the gravitational field of the planet.

    The Gun Philip K. Dick
  • It is water expressing the gravitational relation of different levels.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • There was a gravitational force here for which I was not allowing.

    Wandl the Invader Raymond King Cummings
  • Some gravitational pull, so that we were not upon the course of flight we should have been on.

    Wandl the Invader Raymond King Cummings
  • Then we got past, and into the gravitational field of the planet.

    Out Around Rigel Robert H. Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for gravitational


of, relating to, or involving gravitation
Derived Forms
gravitationally, adverb


the force of attraction that bodies exert on one another as a result of their mass
any process or result caused by this interaction, such as the fall of a body to the surface of the earth
Also called gravity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gravitational



1640s in physics sense, also figurative, from Modern Latin gravitationem (nominative gravitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of gravitare (see gravitate). Related: Gravitational.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gravitational in Medicine

gravitation grav·i·ta·tion (grāv'ĭ-tā'shən)

  1. The natural phenomenon of attraction between massive bodies.

  2. The act or process of moving under the influence of this attraction.

  3. A movement toward a source of attraction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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gravitational in Science
See gravity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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gravitational in Culture

gravitation definition

The force, first described mathematically by Isaac Newton, whereby any two objects in the universe are attracted toward each other. Gravitation holds the moon in orbit around the Earth, the planets in orbit around the sun, and the sun in the Milky Way. It also accounts for the fall of objects released near the surface of the Earth. The modern theory of gravitation is the general theory of relativity.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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