I. noun Etymology: Middle English centre, from Middle French, from Latin centrum, from Greek kentron sharp point, center of a circle, from kentein to prick; probably akin to Old High German hantag pointed Date: 14th century 1. a. the point around which a circle or sphere is described; broadly a point that is related to a geometrical figure in such a way that for any point on the figure there is another point on the figure such that a straight line joining the two points is bisected by the original point — called also center of symmetry b. the center of the circle inscribed in a regular polygon 2. a. a point, area, person, or thing that is most important or pivotal in relation to an indicated activity, interest, or condition <
a railroad center
the center of the controversy
b. a source from which something originates <
a propaganda center
c. a group of nerve cells having a common function <
respiratory center
d. a region of concentrated population <
an urban center
e. a facility providing a place for a particular activity or service <
a day-care center
3. a. the middle part (as of the forehead or a stage) b. often capitalized (1) a grouping of political figures holding moderate views especially between those of conservatives and liberals (2) the views of such politicians (3) the adherents of such views 4. a. a player occupying a middle position on a team: as (1) the football player in the middle of a line who passes the ball between his legs to a back to start a down (2) the usually tallest player on a basketball team who usually plays near the basket b. center field 5. a. either of two tapered rods which support work in a lathe or grinding machine and about or with which the work revolves b. a conical recess in the end of work (as a shaft) for receiving such a center • centerless adjective II. verb (centered; centering) Date: 1590 transitive verb 1. to place or fix at or around a center or central area or position <
center the picture on the wall
2. to give a central focus or basis <
centers her hopes on her son
the plot was centered on espionage
3. to adjust (as lenses) so that the axes coincide 4. a. to pass (a ball or puck) from either side toward the middle of the playing area b. to hand or pass (a football) backward between one's legs to a back to start a down 5. to play center on <
center a line in hockey
intransitive verb to have a specified center ; focus Usage: The intransitive verb center is most commonly used with the prepositions in, on, at, and around. At appears to be favored in mathematical contexts; the others are found in a broad range of contexts. Center around, a standard idiom, has often been objected to as illogical. The logic on which the objections are based is irrelevant, since center around is an idiom and idioms have their own logic. Center on is currently more common in edited prose, and revolve around and similar verbs are available if you want to avoid center around.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Center — or centre (see American and British English spelling differences) may refer to: cience*Center (algebra), uses of center in algebra *Center of gravity (military) *Center (group theory), in abstract algebra, the subgroup consisting of those… …   Wikipedia

  • center — n Center, middle, midst, core, hub, focus, nucleus, heart are comparable when meaning the point, spot, or portion of a thing which is comparable to a point around which a circle is described. Center approximates more or less closely its strict… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Center — Cen ter, n. [F. centre, fr. L. centrum, fr. round which a circle is described, fr. ? to prick, goad.] 1. A point equally distant from the extremities of a line, figure, or body, or from all parts of the circumference of a circle; the middle point …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Center — ist: die englische Bezeichnung (amerik. Schreibweise) für Einkaufszentrum oder ein sonstiges Zentrum die Bezeichnung für eine Spielposition in verschiedenen Sportarten, siehe Center (Basketball) Mittelstürmer im Eishockey Center (American… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Center — Center, NE U.S. village in Nebraska Population (2000): 90 Housing Units (2000): 49 Land area (2000): 0.107139 sq. miles (0.277488 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.107139 sq. miles (0.277488 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • center — [sent′ər] n. [ME & OFr centre < L centrum, center, orig., that point of the compass around which the other describes the circle < Gr kentron, sharp point, goad < kentein, to stitch < IE base * k̑ent , to prick > OHG hantag, sharp,… …   English World dictionary

  • center — of gravity center of parallel wheel motion center of tire contact elastic center roll center spring center swing center torque arm center in drive torque arm center in braking wheel center …   Mechanics glossary

  • center — [adj] middle at halfway point, centermost, deepest, equidistant, inmost, inner, innermost, inside, interior, intermediary, intermediate, internal, mean, medial, mid, middlemost, midpoint, midway; concepts 583,585,830 Ant. bordering, edging,… …   New thesaurus

  • center — I (central position) noun axis, center of gravity, central point, convergence, converging point, core, epicenter, equidistance, eye, focal point, focus, focus of attention, fulcrum, half distance, halfway, media pars, medius, middle, middle… …   Law dictionary

  • Center — Cen ter, Centre Cen tre v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Centered} or {Centred}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Centering} or {Centring}.] 1. To be placed in a center; to be central. [1913 Webster] 2. To be collected to a point; to be concentrated; to rest on, or gather… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • center — the American spelling of centre * * * center UK US /ˈsentər/ noun [C] US ► CENTRE(Cf. ↑centre): » a shopping/research/medical center »the National Center for Health Marketing …   Financial and business terms

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