definitions
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centrifugal

[ sen-trif-yuh-guh l, -uh-guh l ]
/ sɛnˈtrɪf yə gəl, -ə gəl /
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adjective

moving or directed outward from the center (opposed to centripetal).
pertaining to or operated by centrifugal force: a centrifugal pump.
Physiology. efferent.

noun

Machinery.
  1. a machine for separating different materials by centrifugal force; a centrifuge.
  2. a rotating, perforated drum holding the materials to be separated in such a machine.

RELATED WORDS

deviating, divergent, eccentric, outward, radial, spiral, diffusive, efferent

Nearby words

centric, centric fusion, centric occlusion, centriciput, centricity, centrifugal, centrifugal box, centrifugal brake, centrifugal casting, centrifugal clutch, centrifugal force

Origin of centrifugal

1715–25; < New Latin centrifug(us) center-fleeing (centri- centri- + Latin -fugus, derivative of fugere to flee) + -al1
Related formscen·trif·u·gal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedcentrifugal centripetal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for centrifugal

British Dictionary definitions for centrifugal

centrifugal

/ (sɛnˈtrɪfjʊɡəl, ˈsɛntrɪˌfjuːɡəl) /

adjective

acting, moving, or tending to move away from a centreCompare centripetal
of, concerned with, or operated by centrifugal forcecentrifugal pump
botany (esp of certain inflorescences) developing outwards from a centre
physiol another word for efferent

noun

any device that uses centrifugal force for its action
the rotating perforated drum in a centrifuge
Derived Formscentrifugally, adverb

Word Origin for centrifugal

C18: from New Latin centrifugus, from centri- + Latin fugere to flee
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 centrifugal

centrifugal


adj.

1690s, with adjectival suffix -al (1) + Modern Latin centrifugus, 1687, coined by Sir Isaac Newton (who wrote in Latin) in "Principia" (which is written in Latin), from Latin centri- alternative comb. form of centrum "center" (see center (n.)) + fugere "to flee" (see fugitive). Centrifugal force is Newton's vis centrifuga.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for centrifugal

centrifugal

[ sĕn-trĭfyə-gəl, -trĭfə- ]

adj.

Moving or directed away from a center or axis.
Transmitting nerve impulses away from the central nervous system; efferent.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for centrifugal

centrifugal

[ sĕn-trĭfyə-gəl, -trĭfə- ]

Moving or directed away from a center or axis, usually as a result of being spun around the center or axis.
Operated in the manner of a centrifuge.
Transmitting nerve impulses away from the brain or spinal cord; efferent.
Developing or progressing outward from a center or axis, as in the growth of plant structures. For example, in a centrifugal inflorescence such as a cyme, the flowers in the center or tip open first while those on the edge open last. Compare centripetal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.