Gravity vs levity

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Gravity and levity are antonyms. Antonyms are are words that have meanings that are opposite to each other. We will examine the definitions of the words gravity and levity, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Gravity is the force that causes things to drop to the ground, the force that attracts something toward the earth’s center. However, gravity may also mean something serious, something extremely important or solemn. It is this definition that is the antonym of levity. The word gravity is derived from the Old French word gravité, meaning thoughtfulness or seriousness. The plural form is gravities.

Most people believe the word levity means humor. However, a more proper definition of the word levity is the use of humor in a serious situation. This may be interpreted as a lack of respect for the gravity of a situation, or it may be describe an attempt at light-heartedness in a dark situation. The word levity is derived from the French word levite which means lightness. Rarely, the word levity is used in English to mean something that is physically light in weight. The plural form of levity is levities.


“That doesn’t mean we’re not recognizing the gravity of the situation, but getting back to normal activities is about self-care,” she said. (The Yakima Herald-Republic)

After famously watching an apple fall from a tree, Isaac Newton recognized gravity as a fundamental force acting on all things, yet he failed to explain its origins. (Scientific American)

The men, most often, seem totally unaware of the gravity of the situation: They’re cheerful, jubilant even, often waving their hands for the camera. (Newsweek Magazine)

But there were also scenes of heroism and levity, many of which were shared widely on social media. (The New York Times)

What we came here to praise instead, are CBS Sports’ new digital TNF teases—neatly produced short films slapped with some piece of Hollywood ass designed to either A. tell the story of the game, or B. add some comic levity to the four hours of brain-bruising warfare you tuned in for. (Golf Digest)