Share this entry

Share this page

gravitation

Line breaks: gravi|ta¦tion
Pronunciation: /ɡravɪˈteɪʃ(ə)n
 
/

Definition of gravitation in English:

noun

[mass noun]
1Movement, or a tendency to move, towards a centre of gravity, as in the falling of bodies to the earth.
Example sentences
  • He introduced this in 1817 in his study of a problem of Kepler of determining the motion of three bodies moving under mutual gravitation.
  • Aristotle's notion of the motion of bodies impeded understanding of gravitation for a long time.
  • Newton had deduced from his theory of gravitation that the Earth would be flattened at the poles.
1.1 Physics The force responsible for gravitation; gravity.
Example sentences
  • When the twentieth century began we knew of only two types of natural force: gravitation and the intertwined influence of electricity and magnetism.
  • We know of four forces in nature: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces.
  • No longer able to withstand the force of its own gravitation, the core collapses.
2Movement towards or attraction to something: this recent gravitation towards the Continent
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

gravitational

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Such a computer program may be complicated, but basically it uses the simple gravitational theory of Isaac Newton.
  • In walking, kinetic energy is converted to gravitational potential energy and back again, as in a pendulum.
  • The bosons projected to mediate the gravitational force have not yet been observed.

gravitationally

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • They talked about neutron stars and gravitationally collapsed objects, which at the time were still conjectures.
  • Matter and radiation are gravitationally attractive, so in a maximally symmetric spacetime filled with matter, the gravitational force will inevitably cause any lumpiness in the matter to grow and condense.
  • For example, there doesn't seem to be enough visible matter in the form of stars and interstellar gas to hold most galaxies together gravitationally.

Definition of gravitation in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day ingratiate
Pronunciation: ɪnˈɡreɪʃɪeɪt
verb
bring oneself into favour with someone through flattery…