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

Definition of gravitation in English:


[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.


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



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.


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.

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