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See more synonyms for centra on Thesaurus.com
  1. a plural of centrum.
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[sen-truh m]
noun, plural cen·trums, cen·tra [sen-truh] /ˈsɛn trə/.
  1. a center.
  2. Anatomy, Zoology. the body of a vertebra.
  3. Mycology. collectively, all the structures enclosed within the ascocarp of a fungus.
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Origin of centrum

From Latin, dating back to 1850–55; see origin at center
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for centra

Historical Examples

  • The vertebr have the faces of their centra more or less bi-concave.

    Extinct Monsters

    H. N. Hutchinson

  • The vertebrae are generally without epiphyses to their centra.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • In the Ichthyosauria the neural arches were united to the centra by cartilage only.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • This sheath forms the basis of the centra of the future vertebr.

  • Injuries to the centra were very frequent, but differed extraordinarily in their importance.

British Dictionary definitions for centra


  1. a plural of centrum
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noun plural -trums or -tra (-trə)
  1. the main part or body of a vertebra
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Word Origin

C19: from Latin: 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

centra in Medicine


n. pl. cen•trums
  1. A center of any kind, especially an anatomical center.
  2. The major part of a vertebra, exclusive of the bases of the neural arch.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.