[ sen-ter-ing ]
/ ˈsɛn tər ɪŋ /


a temporary framework for supporting a masonry arch during construction until it is able to stand by itself.

Nearby words

  1. center-weighted light meter,
  2. centerboard,
  3. centered,
  4. centerfield,
  5. centerfold,
  6. centerline,
  7. centerpiece,
  8. centerpunch,
  9. centers for disease control,
  10. centerville

Origin of centering

First recorded in 1760–70; center + -ing1


[ sen-ter ]
/ ˈsɛn tər /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

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

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for centering

British Dictionary definitions for centering


/ (ˈsɛntərɪŋ) /


a US spelling of centring


/ (ˈsɛntə) /

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 centering
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for centering


[ sĕntər ]


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 centering


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.