# If a force is a vector quantity, thus having direction and magnitude, why do we express pounds/newtons, a unit of weight, as a scalar?

It is in my understanding that forces are vector quantities, and thus have both magnitude and direction. Since weight is a force of gravity, it also must have magnitude and direction. Why do we define the weight of an object (through SI newtons or customary pounds) as a scalar, such as 5 newtons? Why, despite weight being a force/vector quantity, is the direction not specified?

• Because the direction is downwards, a fundamental part of the experience of all human beings. Perhaps when babies are born in space your question will start to be meaningful. – Suzu Hirose Sep 29 '16 at 4:25