- Geometry. the middle point, as the point within a circle or sphere equally distant from all points of the circumference or surface, or the point within a regular polygon equally distant from the vertices.
- a point, pivot, axis, etc., around which anything rotates or revolves: The sun is the center of the solar system.
- the source of an influence, action, force, etc.: the center of a problem.
- a point, place, person, etc., upon which interest, emotion, etc., focuses: His family is the center of his life.
- a principal point, place, or object: a shipping center.
- a building or part of a building used as a meeting place for a particular group or having facilities for certain activities: a youth center; The company has a complete recreation center in the basement.
- an office or other facility providing a specific service or dealing with a particular emergency: a flood-relief center; a crisis center.
- a person, thing, group, etc., occupying the middle position, especially a body of troops.
- the core or middle of anything: chocolate candies with fruit centers.
- a store or establishment devoted to a particular subject or hobby, carrying supplies, materials, tools, and books as well as offering guidance and advice: a garden center; a nutrition center.
- shopping center.
- (usually initial capital letter) Government.
- the part of a legislative assembly, especially in continental Europe, that sits in the center of the chamber, a position customarily assigned to members of the legislature who hold political views intermediate between those of the Right and Left.
- the members of such an assembly who sit in the Center.
- the political position of persons who hold moderate views.
- politically moderate persons, taken collectively; Centrists; middle-of-the-roaders: Unfortunately, his homeland has always lacked a responsible Center.
- a lineman who occupies a position in the middle of the line and who puts the ball into play by tossing it between his legs to a back.
- the position played by this lineman.
- a player who participates in a center jump.
- the position of the player in the center of the court, where the center jump takes place at the beginning of play.
- Ice Hockey. a player who participates in a face-off at the beginning of play.
- Baseball. center field.
- Physiology. a cluster of nerve cells governing a specific organic process: the vasomotor center.
- the mean position of a figure or system.
- the set of elements of a group that commute with every element of the group.
- a tapered rod, mounted in the headstock spindle (live center) or the tailstock spindle (dead center) of a lathe, upon which the work to be turned is placed.
- one of two similar points on some other machine, as a planing machine, enabling an object to be turned on its axis.
- a tapered indentation, in a piece to be turned on a lathe, into which a center is fitted.
- to place in or on a center: She centered the clock on the mantelpiece.
- to collect to or around a center; focus: He centered his novel on the Civil War.
- to determine or mark the center of: A small brass star centered the tabletop.
- to adjust, shape, or modify (an object, part, etc.) so that its axis or the like is in a central or normal position: to center the lens of a telescope; to center the work on a lathe.
- to place (an object, part, etc.) so as to be equidistant from all bordering or adjacent areas.
- Football. snap(def 21).
- to pass (a basketball, hockey puck, etc.) from any place along the periphery toward the middle of the playing area.
- to be at or come to a center.
- to come to a focus; converge; concentrate (followed by at, about, around, in, or on): The interest of the book centers specifically on the character of the eccentric hero. Political power in the town centers in the position of mayor.
- to gather or accumulate in a cluster; collect (followed by at, about, around, in, or on): Shops and municipal buildings center around the city square.
- 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.
Origin of center
Synonyms for centerSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for center
Related Words for centerheart, place, hub, town, city, plaza, club, mall, station, capital, market, meet, attract, gather, intensify, focus, inside, midpoint, intermediary, intermediate
Examples from the Web for center
Contemporary Examples of center
So not only will the GOP have control in the Senate, it will move the center of gravity on Capitol Hill hard to starboard.The Democrats’ Black Hole—and What They Can Do About It
December 31, 2014
Ebb and flow, checks and balances, the center would hold, et cetera.A Veteran’s View: NYC Cold War Between Cops and City Hall
December 29, 2014
Bake on the center rack of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until set.Make ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall’s Pumpkin Pecan Pie
December 26, 2014
The Center has helped so many people in so many different ways.
Art is something that has been a highlight at The Center since its first group show—“The Center Show”—in 1989.
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.In the Midst of Alarms
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
- the US spelling of centre
Word Origin and History for center
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.
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.
- 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.
Idioms and Phrases with center
In addition to the idiom beginning with center
- center of attraction, the
- front and center