[ sen-truhl ]
See synonyms for central on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or forming the center: the central hut in the village.

  2. in, at, or near the center: a central position.

  1. constituting something from which other related things proceed or upon which they depend: a central office.

  2. principal; chief; dominant: the play's central character.

  3. Anatomy, Zoology.

  4. 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.

  5. Physics. (of a force) directed to or from a fixed point.

  1. (formerly)

    • a main telephone exchange.

    • a telephone operator at such an exchange.

Origin of central

First recorded in 1620–30; from Latin centrālis, “centrally located,” equivalent to centr(um) center + -ālis -al1

Other words for central

Other words from central

  • cen·tral·ly, adverb

Words Nearby central

Other definitions for central (2 of 3)

[ sen-trahl; Spanish sen-trahl ]

noun,plural cen·trals, Spanish cen·tra·les [sen-trah-les]. /sɛnˈtrɑ lɛs/.
  1. (in Spanish America and the Philippines) a mill for crushing cane into raw sugar.

Origin of central

First recorded in 1885–90; from Latin American Spanish, special use of Spanish central central1

Other definitions for Central (3 of 3)

[ sen-truhl ]

  1. a region in central Scotland. 1,016 sq. mi. (2,631 sq. km).

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use central in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for central


/ (ˈsɛntrəl) /

  1. in, at, of, from, containing, or forming the centre of something: the central street in a city; the central material of a golf ball

  2. main, principal, or chief; most important: the central cause of a problem

    • of or relating to the central nervous system

    • of or relating to the centrum of a vertebra

  1. 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

  2. (of a force) directed from or towards a point

  3. informal (immediately postpositive) used to describe a place where a specified thing, quality, etc is to be found in abundance: nostalgia central

Derived forms of central

  • centrally, adverb

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