center

[sen-ter]
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noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


Idioms

    on center, from the centerline or midpoint of a structural member, an area of a plan, etc., to that of a similar member, area, etc.: The studs are set 30 inches on center. Abbreviation: o.c.
Also especially British, cen·tre.

Origin of center

1325–75; variant of Middle English centre < Latin centrum < Greek kéntron needle, spur, pivoting point in drawing a circle, derivative of kenteîn to sting
Related formscen·ter·a·ble, adjectivecen·ter·less, adjectivesu·per·cen·ter, noun

Synonyms for center

1. See middle.

Antonyms for center

1. edge.

Usage note

28. Although sometimes condemned for alleged illogicality, the phrases center about and center around have appeared in edited writing for more than a century to express the sense of gathering or collecting as if around a center: The objections center around the question of fiscal responsibility.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for center

Contemporary Examples of center

Historical Examples of center

  • There was a certain careless calm about this that shook Andrew to his center again.

  • There was a thud as his fist hit the rickety, squeaking table in the center of the room.

  • It is the newspaper man's instinct to be in the center of the fray.

  • The joint of the 20-foot pieces should be directly in the center of the 10-foot piece.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • On entering the hall, Ulysses saw the magic fountain in the center of it.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne


British Dictionary definitions for center

center

noun, verb

the US spelling of centre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for center
n.

late 14c., "middle point of a circle; point round which something revolves," from Old French centre (14c.), from Latin centrum "center," originally fixed point of the two points of a drafting compass, from Greek kentron "sharp point, goad, sting of a wasp," from kentein "stitch," from PIE root *kent- "to prick" (cf. Breton kentr "a spur," Welsh cethr "nail," Old High German hantag "sharp, pointed").

Figuratively from 1680s. Meaning "the middle of anything" attested from 1590s. Spelling with -re popularized in Britain by Johnson's dictionary (following Bailey's), though -er is older and was used by Shakespeare, Milton, and Pope. Center of gravity is recorded from 1650s. Center of attention is from 1868.

v.

1590s, "to concentrate at a center," from center (n.). Related: Centered; centering. Meaning "to rest as at a center" is from 1620s. Sports sense of "to hit toward the center" is from 1890. To be centered on is from 1713. In combinations, -centered is attested by 1958.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

center in Medicine

center

[sĕntər]

n.

A point or place in the body that is equally distant from its sides or outer boundaries; the middle.
A group of neurons in the central nervous system that control a particular function.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with center

center

In addition to the idiom beginning with center

  • center of attraction, the

also see:

  • front and center
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.