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Is there a word which means "possessing a large gravity well/exerting much gravity"?

My friend suggested "gravacious" which, though not a word, sounds fitting. And in the non-existence of a such a word already, I will most likely begin using it.

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    gravific Not necessarily a large 'amount' though. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gravific
    – Frank
    Apr 22, 2015 at 13:59
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    Putting aside nitpicking over the difference between weight and mass, I'd just say heavy. Of course, if you're heavy with child, you could be described as gravid. OED has the adjective gravific - That makes heavy or produces weight. Apr 22, 2015 at 14:13
  • -1 for verbal anarchy.
    – TRomano
    Apr 22, 2015 at 14:31
  • +1 for verbal anarchy. By the way, some actual gravity wells might as well be entered into the record. Apr 22, 2015 at 15:17
  • How about "black hole", if you're being figurative.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 22, 2015 at 16:45

7 Answers 7

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Given the laws of physics, massive would seem to fit the bill.

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    There is nothing wrong with compact massive object. Physicists use it. Apr 22, 2015 at 14:48
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    Yes, there is. They're unsafe is what's wrong with them. Don't go near them. Apr 22, 2015 at 14:49
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    @JohnLawler Bigoted discrimination against any kind of cosmic body has no part to play on an enlightened website for the discussion of English usage. Instead of "unsafe" please use "differently safe" in the future ;)
    – Marv Mills
    Apr 22, 2015 at 15:08
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    @MarvMills I think you just coined the term "massist".
    – logophobe
    Apr 22, 2015 at 16:50
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    @ChrisH For a less educated audience, use heavy. I have heard physicists use this. Apr 22, 2015 at 17:19
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You can consider the adjectives hypergravitational or megagravitational to describe a very strong gravitational pull. (they can be hyphenated also)

Centrifuges were used to create hyper-gravitational forces in the last quarter of the 19th century by Tsiolkovskiy, among others, to study levels of acceleration tolerance in various species.

Humans in Spaceflight, Book 2 By Carolyn S. Leach Huntoon


Scientists tell us that Jupiter has been deflecting harmful asteroids from Earth for years. Its megagravitational field pulls those asteroids off course and deflects them back into space.

Planets and Possibilities: Explore the World of the Zodiac Beyond Just Your Sign By Susan Miller


Additionally, hypergravity has a particular meaning:

Hypergravity is defined as the condition where the force of gravity exceeds that on the surface of the Earth. This is expressed as being greater than 1 g. [Wikipedia]

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  • It would be better to use supergravitational or magnigravitational, in order to avoid Graeco-Latin hybrids. Apr 22, 2015 at 17:21
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    @Cerberus: I didn't mention supergravitational because it has another use. See: Supergravity
    – ermanen
    Apr 22, 2015 at 17:22
  • Ugh, so many terminology! Apr 22, 2015 at 17:23
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    @Cerberus Certainly! While one is driving in an autokinetic and feeling claustrotimorous about encroaching hybrid Latin-Greek words, we should certainly condemn the hyperenergotic imaginations that create such abominations! (Or we can just accept that they're actually pretty normal parts of English... Though, I do like the sound of supergravitational quite a lot.) Apr 23, 2015 at 5:55
  • @SevenSidedDie: Very good! (We already have so many ugly hybrids; let's avoid casting any new ones into this world. I try to avoid them whenever I can, although there are plenty that one cannot avoid, such as sociology, television...you don't know what it's like, being a Greek divinity.) Apr 23, 2015 at 11:55
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As I have used it in Sci-Fi concepts within my own stuff, I have used the phrase:

Gravitically significant.

If something does not possess enough gravity (due to mass) to be orbited, then it is not gravitically significant.

Depending on usage, this could be a fuzzy definition. Some starships (in my stuff) generate enough gravity to disturb star systems, and are gravitically significant. But, to an astronaut on an asteroid, the astroid is gravitically significant. The asteroid to the star system, is not.

As a single term, gravitic is about as close as I can get. "It exerts gravity." (yes, everything does, but so much of that is unnoticed, so is it, on a practical sense?)

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From wiktionary :

weightfulness

The quality or state of being weightful; heaviness; gravity


@steveverrill proposition : from wiktionary :

weightiness

The quality of being weighty

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    Oh, c'mon! Anybody hearing the word weightfulness would understand waitfulness (or perhaps wakefulness, depending on ambient noise), and would remain innocent of any discussion of weight or mass in the discourse. Apr 22, 2015 at 14:48
  • What about context? I just quoting a dictionary, I didn't invented it.
    – Yohann V.
    Apr 22, 2015 at 15:24
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    Wiktionary is not really a dictionary. It's a list. If you want a dictionary, get a real dictionary; what's free on the web is often defective. Apr 22, 2015 at 15:26
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    Like stackoverflow and all SE?
    – Yohann V.
    Apr 22, 2015 at 15:33
  • weightiness sounds far more common / natural to my British ears Apr 22, 2015 at 21:50
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It's rather clunky, but I've occasionally heard strongly gravitating for this. Though apparently "gravitate" also has a different meaning, arguably more common, which might lead to people getting confused.

1: to move under the influence of gravitation

2 a: to move toward something

2 b: to be drawn or attracted especially by natural inclination

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The word gravity itself is a noun form of grave, in the same way that seriousness is a noun form of serious. We have phrases such as "the gravity of the situation" because of this.

For this reason, I say the word for "possessing a large gravity well" is grave.

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    That's not what 'grave' means.
    – bdsl
    Apr 23, 2015 at 13:48
  • Bullshit. 'grave' means "giving cause for alarm; serious," while 'gravity' means "seriousness or solemnity of manner," and both derive from 'gravis' in Latin. You can shove that downvote right up your ass. Apr 23, 2015 at 17:47
  • The question isn't about gravity in the sense of 'seriousness or solemnity of manner', it's about the physical force. Derivation is a very unreliable guide to current meanings.
    – bdsl
    Apr 23, 2015 at 21:37
  • When Newton called it 'gravity' it only had the 'seriousness' meaning. He obviously thought the meaning was close enough, otherwise he would've picked a different word. Apr 23, 2015 at 21:57
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gravity hole

Expected, and well established:

Everything: - Page 164 L0g0s - 2014

Vokk then stepped back inside truth, losing all the particles of complex matter that had attached to his energy of reason as he passed through the anti-Higgs particles around the gravity hole I had created.

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