- the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the center of the earth.
- heaviness or weight.
- gravitation in general.
- acceleration of gravity.
- a unit of acceleration equal to the acceleration of gravity. Symbol: g
- serious or critical nature: He seemed to ignore the gravity of his illness.
- serious or dignified behavior; dignity; solemnity: to preserve one's gravity in the midst of chaos.
- lowness in pitch, as of sounds.
Origin of gravity
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gravity
So not only will the GOP have control in the Senate, it will move the center of gravity on Capitol Hill hard to starboard.The Democrats’ Black Hole—and What They Can Do About It
December 31, 2014
In the spring of 1933, few perceived Nazism with the gravity he did.The Catholic Philosopher Who Took on Hitler
John Henry Crosby
December 26, 2014
The powerful forces of gravity and magnetism channel matter into huge flattened spinning platters known as accretion disks.The Black Hole Tango
Matthew R. Francis
November 24, 2014
The Asteroid Belt in the Solar System has many such gaps, created by the gravity of the Sun and Jupiter.The Most Stunning View Ever of Planets Being Born
Matthew R. Francis
November 9, 2014
For other worlds, we usually have to rely on other data: fluctuations in gravity, or the gentle rocking motion known as libration.Saturn’s Death Star Look-Alike
Matthew R. Francis
October 19, 2014
Then there are twistings of mouths which never lost their gravity before.Dr. Bullivant
This is because it is heavier than air, and gravity draws it to the ground.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
She leaned forward, observing her profile; gravity seemed to be her mood.Alice Adams
A ton on some other planet, where the attraction of gravity is less, does not weigh half a ton.Pax Vobiscum
Mr. Dodge looked distrustful; but John Effingham maintained his gravity.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
- the force of attraction that moves or tends to move bodies towards the centre of a celestial body, such as the earth or moon
- the property of being heavy or having weightSee also specific gravity, centre of gravity
- another name for gravitation
- seriousness or importance, esp as a consequence of an action or opinion
- manner or conduct that is solemn or dignified
- lowness in pitch
- (modifier) of or relating to gravity or gravitation or their effectsgravity wave; gravity feed
Word Origin and History for gravity
c.1500, "weight, dignity, seriousness," from Middle French gravité "seriousness, thoughtfulness," and directly from Latin gravitatem (nominative gravitas) "weight, heaviness, pressure," from gravis "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). The scientific sense of "force that gives weight to objects" first recorded 1640s.
- The fundamental force of attraction that all objects with mass have for each other. Like the electromagnetic force, gravity has effectively infinite range and obeys the inverse-square law. At the atomic level, where masses are very small, the force of gravity is negligible, but for objects that have very large masses such as planets, stars, and galaxies, gravity is a predominant force, and it plays an important role in theories of the structure of the universe. Gravity is believed to be mediated by the graviton, although the graviton has yet to be isolated by experiment. Gravity is weaker than the strong force, the electromagnetic force, and the weak force. Also called gravitation See more at acceleration relativity.
A Closer Look: With his law of universal gravitation, Sir Isaac Newton described gravity as the mutual attraction between any two bodies in the universe. He developed an equation describing an instantaneous gravitational effect that any two objects, no matter how far apart or how small, exert on each other. These effects diminish as the distance between the objects gets larger and as the masses of the objects get smaller. His theory explained both the trajectory of a falling apple and the motion of the planets-hitherto completely unconnected phenomena-using the same equations. Albert Einstein developed the first revision of these ideas. Einstein needed to extend his theory of Special Relativity to be able to understand cases in which bodies were subject to forces and acceleration, as in the case of gravity. According to Special Relativity, however, the instantaneous gravitational effects in Newton's theory would not be possible, for to act instantaneously, gravity would have to travel at infinite velocities, faster than the speed of light, the upper limit of velocity in Special Relativity. To overcome these inconsistencies, Einstein developed the theory of General Relativity, which connected gravity, mass, and acceleration in a new manner. Imagine, he said, an astronaut standing in a stationary rocket on the Earth. Because of the Earth's gravity, his feet are pressed against the rocket's floor with a force equal to his weight. Now imagine him in the same rocket, this time accelerating in outer space, far from any significant gravity. The accelerating rocket pushing against his feet creates a force indistinguishable from that of a gravitational field. Developing this principle of equivalence, Einstein showed that mass itself forms curves in space and time and that the effects of gravity are related to the trajectories taken by objects-even objects without mass, such as light. Whether gravity can be united with the other fundamental forces understood in quantum mechanics remains unclear.
Another term for gravitation, especially as it affects objects near the surface of the Earth.