- 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.
- 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.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of center
Synonyms for center
Antonyms for center
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.
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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with center
- center of attraction, the
- front and center