[grav-i-tey-shuh n]
  1. Physics.
    1. the force of attraction between any two masses.Compare law of gravitation.
    2. an act or process caused by this force.
  2. a sinking or falling.
  3. 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 formsgrav·i·ta·tion·al, adjectivegrav·i·ta·tion·al·ly, adverban·ti·grav·i·ta·tion, adjectivean·ti·grav·i·ta·tion·al, adjectivean·ti·grav·i·ta·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·grav·i·ta·tion, nounnon·grav·i·ta·tion·al, adjectivenon·grav·i·ta·tion·al·ly, adverbsu·per·grav·i·ta·tion, nounun·grav·i·ta·tion·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gravitational

Contemporary Examples of gravitational

Historical Examples of gravitational

  • 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.

  • 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


  1. of, relating to, or involving gravitation
Derived Formsgravitationally, adverb


  1. the force of attraction that bodies exert on one another as a result of their mass
  2. 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

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

gravitational in Medicine


  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.

gravitational in Science


  1. See gravity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

gravitational in Culture


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.