Sports A heavy object, such as a dumbbell, lifted for exercise or in athletic competition. Statistics A factor assigned to a number in a computation, as in determining an average, to increase or decrease the number's effect on the computation, reflecting its importance. See Synonyms at importance. Sports A classification according to comparative lightness or heaviness. Often used in combination: a heavyweight boxer. Often used in combination: a summerweight jacket. Statistics To assign weights or a weight to.
Sports To assign to (a horse) the weight it must carry as a handicap in a race. Idioms: by weight According to weight rather than volume or other measure. Sports To weigh within the limits stipulated for an athletic contest.
It equals the mass of the body multiplied by the acceleration of free fall. Its units are units of force (such as newtons or poundals) but it is often given as a mass unit (kilogram or pound). Middle High German gewichte, Old Norse v. An object's weight depends on its mass (the amount of matter it consists of) and the strength of the gravitational pull. On Earth, for example, an object weighs less at the top of a very high mountain than it does at sea level, simply because the gravitational pull at the top of the mountain is lower than it is at sea level. But no matter how many times you do this conversion, you will always be making a mistake, because a pound is a unit of force, while a kilogram is a unit of mass.
A pound is a measure of the force that a gravitational field exerts on an object. As such, a pound is a unit of weight, not of mass. An object's mass is its ability to resist changes in the speed or direction of its motion, and it is always the same regardless of what forces are acting upon it.
If you were walking on the moon, for example, your mass would be the same as it is on the Earth, but your weight would be one sixth of what it is on the Earth because of the lower gravitational pull of the moon. If this is so, you might ask, how can my science teacher ask me to convert pounds into kilograms? When we make such conversions, we are assuming that the object in question is on the Earth, at sea level, where the conversion factor works for all practical purposes.
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