- of or forming the center: the central hut in the village.
- in, at, or near the center: a central position.
- constituting something from which other related things proceed or upon which they depend: a central office.
- principal; chief; dominant: the play's central character.
- Anatomy, Zoology.
- of or relating to the central nervous system.
- of or relating to the centrum of a vertebra.
- Phonetics. (of a speech sound) produced with the tongue articulating neither expressly forward nor in the back part of the mouth, as any of the sounds of lull.
- Physics. (of a force) directed to or from a fixed point.
- a main telephone exchange.
- a telephone operator at such an exchange.
Origin of central1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- (in Spanish America and the Philippines) a mill for crushing cane into raw sugar.
Origin of central2
- a region in central Scotland. 1016 sq. mi. (2631 sq. km).
Examples from the Web for central
Offending the other ones has been a central strategy for Paul over the last year.Rand Paul’s Passive-Aggressive Trolling Campaign
January 6, 2015
President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to force Faubus to admit the students to Central High School.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future
January 3, 2015
It drains your body of nutrients and vitamins, attacking the central nervous system and leaving you in a dehydrated, hazy state.History's Craziest Hangover Cures
December 30, 2014
Methamphetamine addiction is central to more than one story.This Week’s Hot Reads: December 22, 2014
December 22, 2014
All other issues—racial, feminine, even environmental—need to fit around this central objective.Time to Bring Back the Truman Democrats
December 21, 2014
Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy.
The central question before us is: How shall we use that peace?
Three seats were rented by him in a central part of the large church.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Indeed Culbertson in the Central countries was Culbertson to none.
I have heard of you--the most wonderful shot in Central Africa.
- in, at, of, from, containing, or forming the centre of somethingthe central street in a city; the central material of a golf ball
- main, principal, or chief; most importantthe central cause of a problem
- of or relating to the central nervous system
- of or relating to the centrum of a vertebra
- of, relating to, or denoting a vowel articulated with the tongue held in an intermediate position halfway between the positions for back and front vowels, as for the a of English soda
- (of a force) directed from or towards a point
- informal (immediately postpositive) used to describe a place where a specified thing, quality, etc is to be found in abundancenostalgia central
Word Origin and History for central
1640s, from French central or directly from Latin centralis "pertaining to a center," from centrum (see center (n.)). Centrally is attested perhaps as early as early 15c., which might imply a usage of central earlier than the attested date.
Slightly older is centric (1580s). As a U.S. colloquial noun for "central telephone exchange," first recorded 1889 (hence, "Hello, Central?"). Central processing unit attested from 1961. Central America is attested from 1826.