Definition of gravitation in English:



  • 1Movement, or a tendency to move, toward a center of attractive force, as in the falling of bodies to the earth.

    • ‘He introduced this in 1817 in his study of a problem of Kepler of determining the motion of three bodies moving under mutual gravitation.’
    • ‘Newton had deduced from his theory of gravitation that the Earth would be flattened at the poles.’
    • ‘Thus it was that the impenetrability, the mobility, the impulsive force of bodies, and the laws of motion and of gravitation, were discovered.’
    • ‘But the vortex theory did not explain the gravitation of terrestrial objects towards the earth's poles, and, when applied to celestial matter, the theory clashed with certain known facts about planetary movements.’
    • ‘Aristotle's notion of the motion of bodies impeded understanding of gravitation for a long time.’
    trend, movement, drift, swing, gravitation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Physics A force of attraction exerted by each particle of matter in the universe on every other particle.
      ‘the law of universal gravitation’
      Compare with gravity
      • ‘He attributed gravitation to the forces of mutual attraction between material objects.’
      • ‘This quest led the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton, for example, to formulate his law of universal gravitation, which states that all objects in the universe exert a gravitational force of attraction upon each other.’
      • ‘We know this difference especially when we look at the discovery of universal physical principles, as, for example, Kepler's discovery of universal gravitation.’
      • ‘Based on his universal law of gravitation and laws of motion, he was able to explain the paths of the planets.’
      • ‘Newton explicitly rejected the idea that gravitation, or any other force, be essential to matter.’
  • 2Movement toward or attraction to something.

    ‘a tentative gravitation toward the prices that we saw before the announcement’
    • ‘I feel a sudden gravitation towards this young man and follow him to the side of the park where he sits glaring at the protesters.’
    • ‘Yes, that's speculative but if there was more than one fellow involved within a timeframe of several weeks, a purposeful gravitation towards the one adjudged superior on some level seems a reasonable possibility.’
    • ‘Her gravitation towards Italy and Italian culture functions as a kind replacement for the personal and cultural decimation she has witnessed as the daughter and niece of Holocaust victims.’
    • ‘Like the planets of the solar system, men too were drawn into a type of gravitation toward goodness in this way.’
    • ‘According to many experts, however, the move is both a symptom of changing retail trends and a long expected gravitation towards the store's natural born market.’
    • ‘Why do you feel there isn't a mass gravitation towards positive messages in hip hop?’
    • ‘It's almost as though we believe our society is caught up in some kind of unstoppable gravitation towards more consumption, more production, more alienation.’
    • ‘A number of factors led to her gravitation towards the Balkan region.’
    • ‘How do we battle the gravitation toward happy consensus that paralyzes our national debate?’
    • ‘Her stage work was largely overshadowed by her work in films, but in both arenas she will be remembered for her intensity, her gravitation towards extreme roles and her firm commitment to those roles.’
    • ‘Perhaps gravitation toward his approach depends more on your sensibility than his.’
    • ‘Are you trying to tell me that our obvious gravitation towards each other isn't real?’
    • ‘But she blocked his gravitation toward painting.’
    • ‘His gravitation towards people and things that expand his horizons is absolutely inspiring.’
    • ‘Overall, there's been a gravitation towards rootsy instruments and old-timey songs.’


Mid 17th century: from modern Latin gravitatio(n-), from the verb gravitare (see gravitate).