Advertisement

relativity (n.)

1834, "fact or condition of being relative, existence as an immediate object of the understanding or experience, existence only in relation to a thinking mind," (apparently coined by Coleridge, in "Notes on Waterland's Vindication of Christ's Divinity"), from relative (adj.) + -ity. In scientific use, connected to the theory of Albert Einstein (1879-1955) having to do with the dependence of observation on the relative motion of observer and object, published in 1905 (special theory of relativity) and 1915 (general theory of relativity), but the word was used in roughly this sense by J.C. Maxwell in 1876. An earlier noun in the sense of "state of being relative" was relativeness (1670s).

Others are reading

Advertisement
Definitions of relativity from WordNet

relativity (n.)
(physics) the theory that space and time are relative concepts rather than absolute concepts;
Synonyms: theory of relativity / relativity theory / Einstein's theory of relativity
relativity (n.)
the quality of being relative and having significance only in relation to something else;
From wordnet.princeton.edu