A proponent of or expert in a physical theory which asserts that attraction is a consequence of an imperceptible attractive force intrinsic to the bodies involved and which operates at a distance, as opposed to being mediated by some mechanical process or other means; especially an adherent of Newton's theory of gravitation.
In contrast to Newton's theory of gravitation, Georges-Louis de Sage (1724–1803) hypothesized that gravitation is the result of bodies being bombarded by certain particles. More recently, Einstein's theory of general relativity explained gravitation as being the result of distortions in spacetime which are caused by all bodies possessing mass.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in The London Magazine. From attraction + -ist.