from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various small gravitational forces acting on an extended body as a result of the varying distance between the source of the gravitational force, such as the moon, and the different parts of the extended body, such as the earth's oceans closest to and farthest from the moon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any of various gravitational forces acting on a body caused by variation in the distance between it and a source of a gravitational field; such forces due to the Moon are responsible for tides


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