# What does "terminal speed" mean?

Terminal speed, also known as terminal velocity, is the maximum speed of a falling object when it can no longer accelerate from the gravitational pull or any constant force. This is due to air resistance negating the force of gravity acting on the object.

Terminal speed also applies on objects sinking in fluids. In this case, the liquid's buoyancy (instead of air resistance) counteracts the force of gravity. Objects falling in a vacuum have no terminal speed as there is no resistance to counteract the force of gravity. The term is popularized by skydivers, who use it for free falling and parachuting.

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Terminal velocity is the maximum velocity an object reaches when it is falling under the force of gravity or another constant driving force. The object is subject ...
When an object reaches its terminal velocity, it can no longer accelerate, so its acceleration becomes zero, and it falls at a constant speed. As an object falls ...