- the US spelling of centre
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
- the middle part or point of something;
core:the center of town; the center of the earth.
- Mathematicsthe point equally distant from all sides of an object;
a point around which a circle may be drawn;
a point around which something revolves or turns:Measure the circle from the center to any point on the edge to get the radius.
- [usually singular; usually: the + ~] the source of an influence, action, or force: the center of a problem.
- a focus, as of interest or concern:For a few moments she was the center of attention.
- a principal point, place, or object: a shipping center.
- a building or part of a building that is used as a meeting place, or that deals with a particular subject, emergency, etc.:A crisis center was set up during the flood emergency.
- shopping center.
- Government[usually: Center]
- Government(esp. in Europe) the members of a parliament who hold views between those of the Right and Left and who sit in the center of the chamber.
- to place in or on a center;
move, or adjust to or on a center:[~ + object]centered the subject in the camera's viewfinder.
- to collect to or around a center;
concentrate: [~ + object + on + object]He centered his novel on the Civil War.[~ + on/around + object]His novel centers on the Civil War.
- (of a political party or position) considered moderate or in between the left and right positions:a center party.
- Mathematics[Geom.]the middle point, as the point within a circle or sphere equally distant from all points of the circumference or surface, or the point within a regular polygon equally distant from the vertices.
- a point, pivot, axis, etc., around which anything rotates or revolves:The sun is the center of the solar system.
- the source of an influence, action, force, etc.:the center of a problem.
- a point, place, person, etc., upon which interest, emotion, etc., focuses:His family is the center of his life.
- a principal point, place, or object:a shipping center.
- a building or part of a building used as a meeting place for a particular group or having facilities for certain activities:a youth center; The company has a complete recreation center in the basement.
- an office or other facility providing a specific service or dealing with a particular emergency:a flood-relief center; a crisis center.
- a person, thing, group, etc., occupying the middle position, esp. a body of troops.
- the core or middle of anything:chocolate candies with fruit centers.
- a store or establishment devoted to a particular subject or hobby, carrying supplies, materials, tools, and books as well as offering guidance and advice:a garden center; a nutrition center.
- See shopping center.
- Government(usually cap.)
- the part of a legislative assembly, esp. 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;
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.
- Sport[Ice Hockey.]a player who participates in a face-off at the beginning of play.
- Sport[Baseball.]See center field.
- Physiologya cluster of nerve cells governing a specific organic process:the vasomotor center.
- the mean position of a figure or system.
- the set of elements of a group that commute with every element of the group.
- Mechanical Engineeringa 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.
- Mechanical Engineeringone of two similar points on some other machine, as a planing machine, enabling an object to be turned on its axis.
- Mechanical Engineeringa tapered indentation, in a piece to be turned on a lathe, into which a center is fitted.
- Building, Idiomson center, from the centerline or midpoint of a structural member, an area of a plan, etc., to that of a similar member, area, etc.:The studs are set 30 inches on center. Abbr.:o.c.
- to place in or on a center:She centered the clock on the mantelpiece.
- to collect to or around a center;
focus:He centered his novel on the Civil War.
- to determine or mark the center of:A small brass star centered the tabletop.
- to adjust, shape, or modify (an object, part, etc.) so that its axis or the like is in a central or normal position:to center the lens of a telescope; to center the work on a lathe.
- to place (an object, part, etc.) so as to be equidistant from all bordering or adjacent areas.
- Sport[Football.]snap (def. 20).
- to pass (a basketball, hockey puck, etc.) from any place along the periphery toward the middle of the playing area.
- to be at or come to a center.
- to come to a focus;
concentrate (fol. by at, about, around, in, or on):The interest of the book centers specifically on the character of the eccentric hero. Political power in the town centers in the position of mayor.
- to gather or accumulate in a cluster* collect (fol. by at, about, around, in, or on):Shops and municipal buildings center around the city square.
- Greek kéntron needle, spur, pivoting point in drawing a circle, derivative of kenteîn to sting
- Latin centrum
- variant of Middle English centre 1325–75
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See middle.
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged edge.
- 29. Although sometimes condemned for alleged illogicality, the phrases center about and center around have appeared in edited writing for more than a century to express the sense of gathering or collecting as if around a center:The objections center around the question of fiscal responsibility.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
- British Termscenter.
- the midpoint of any line or figure, esp the point within a circle or sphere that is equidistant from any point on the circumference or surface
- the point within a body through which a specified force may be considered to act, such as the centre of gravity
- the point, axis, or pivot about which a body rotates
- a point, area, or part that is approximately in the middle of a larger area or volume
- a place at which some specified activity is concentrated: a shopping centre
- a person or thing that is a focus of interest
- a place of activity or influence: a centre of power
- a person, group, policy, or thing in the middle
- (usually capital) a political party or group favouring moderation, esp the moderate members of a legislative assembly
- a bar with a conical point upon which a workpiece or part may be turned or ground
- a player who plays in the middle of the forward line
- the act or an instance of passing the ball from a wing to the middle of the field, court, etc
- to move towards, mark, put, or be at a centre
- (transitive) to focus or bring together: to centre one's thoughts
- (intransitive) often followed by on: to have as a main point of view or theme: the novel centred on crime
- (intr; followed by on or round) to have as a centre
- (transitive) to pass (the ball) into the middle of the field or court