Definition of gravitation in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɡravɪˈteɪʃ(ə)n/


[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).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gravi|ta¦tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.