Definition of gravity in US English:



  • 1Physics
    The force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass.

    • ‘Physics has found only four forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, weak nuclear, and strong nuclear.’
    • ‘Objects exert a force of gravity because they have mass and the more mass they have the stronger the force of gravity they exert.’
    • ‘Certainly, every type of matter we have ever encountered feels the attractive force of gravity.’
    • ‘Life on earth has evolved in the accelerative force of gravity, which attracts all material towards the centre of the earth and gives a mass of material the characteristic which we term weight.’
    • ‘The ball will fall to the floor due to the force of gravity pulling it down.’
    attraction, attracting force, downward force, pull, weight, heaviness
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    1. 1.1 The degree of intensity of gravity, measured by acceleration.
      • ‘It is not restricted to inertial frames, and it encompasses a broader range of phenomena, namely gravity and accelerated motions.’
      • ‘The speed of gravity has been measured for the first time, revealing that it does indeed travel at the speed of light.’
      • ‘Although these hidden dimensions remain too small to be measured, gravity can travel in between them.’
      • ‘Our estimates of the total mass of the Earth, M, and therefore its mean density, rely on the measurement of gravity.’
      • ‘Specific gravity was measured by a harmonic oscillation method on the automated workstation.’
  • 2Extreme or alarming importance; seriousness.

    ‘crimes of the utmost gravity’
    • ‘First, and overwhelmingly, the charges are of the utmost gravity.’
    • ‘They realized the full gravity of the situation when they scanned, what moments before, had been a room full of Sailors eating lunch.’
    • ‘This is a moment of utmost gravity for the world.’
    • ‘Sometimes people only realize themselves when the moment of gravity is upon them.’
    • ‘An interest in bad news demands a certain high level of national seriousness and gravity and, possibly, hopelessness.’
    • ‘All this information was delivered with such gravity, that I seriously began to doubt its authenticity.’
    • ‘The children discussed the matter thoroughly, for hours, with a seriousness and gravity far beyond what one would expect of nine and ten year-olds.’
    • ‘In order that I not be misunderstood, I think that the alleged offences are serious but their gravity can only be determined after a full trial.’
    • ‘The gravity of the situation was revealed in the monthly report on employment for February compiled by the National Statistical Office.’
    • ‘If I am right about that, then this is a matter of the utmost gravity for the people and economy of New Zealand.’
    • ‘The offence of rape was clearly of the utmost gravity.’
    • ‘They see a child but cannot perceive meaning or gravity or importance in him.’
    • ‘And I think you've got to take a look at what he concealed to realize the gravity of the situation.’
    • ‘Few seem to realize the gravity of the situation.’
    • ‘It quickly became apparent that those involved believed the matter was of the utmost gravity, however.’
    • ‘Naturally this only occurs in situations of extreme gravity or urgency threatening irreparable damage to persons.’
    • ‘Even before you realize the full gravity of the situation, traffic comes to a standstill and shops start pulling down shutters.’
    • ‘Just then, I realized the gravity of my situation.’
    • ‘So that is unusual, too, and it shows the gravity and the importance of it.’
    • ‘They said that espionage is almost inevitably bound to be a crime of the utmost gravity.’
    seriousness, importance, profundity, significance, momentousness, moment, weightiness, weight, consequence, magnitude
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  • 3Seriousness or solemnity of manner.

    ‘has the poet ever spoken with greater eloquence or gravity?’
    • ‘It bestows on cricket though a gravity that goes way beyond just two teams of 11 fit young people playing a game against each other, doesn't it?’
    • ‘This was a rather new experience for them, as elves are regarded as serious creatures, who contemplate things with an utmost gravity and never laugh out loud.’
    • ‘Velazquez painted a face of preoccupied gravity, of someone with great concerns.’
    • ‘An air of gravity and solemnity pervaded the president's remarks as a stunned nation listened by radio.’
    • ‘Rivka, Regine and Vera are older, mature characters who bring to the film both the weight of experience and the gravity of thoughtfulness.’
    • ‘They did not treat the occasion with the gravity and dignity it deserved.’
    • ‘Her tone betrayed the gravity of her thoughts, and he gave her a peculiar look.’
    • ‘He exuded dignity and gravity and he was courteous to counsel and witnesses alike.’
    • ‘His drawings are very much like the way he spoke, with gravity, irony, and with unexpected turns of humor.’
    • ‘The word Glasgow means Dear Green Place, but the grey Scottish sky adds gravity and seriousness to already formidable architecture.’
    • ‘‘But we're very influential and important people,’ I say, with great mock gravity.’
    • ‘He played this part with gravity and dignity, and in an understated style which set off the flamboyant persona of Henry VIII.’
    • ‘That said, it was well researched and balanced with just enough savage irony to break the gravity with levity.’
    • ‘A woman in a grey dress and white apron, holding a little girl by the hand, approached, and spoke with gravity and great sweetness.’
    • ‘His service in the Senate, while not describable as stellar, has featured some important moments of gravity and responsibility.’
    solemnity, seriousness, sombreness, sobriety, soberness, severity
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Late 15th century (in gravity (sense 2)): from Old French, or from Latin gravitas ‘weight, seriousness’, from gravis ‘heavy’. gravity (sense 1) dates from the 17th century.