Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of center
Meaning of center by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms

    • centre ( UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand )


    From Middle French centre, from Latin centrum, from Ancient Greek κέντρον ( kéntron ), from κεντεῖν ( “to prick, goad” ) .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈsɛn.tə/, X-SAMPA: /"sEnt@/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈsɛn.( t )ɚ/, X-SAMPA: /"sEnt@`/, /"sEn@`/
    • Rhymes: -ɛntə( r )


    center ( plural: centers )

    1. The point in the interior of a circle or sphere that is equidistant from all points on the circumference. [from 14th c.]
    2. The middle portion of something; the part well away from the edges .
    3. ( geometry ) The point on a line that is midway between the ends .
    4. ( geometry ) The point in the interior of any figure of any number of dimensions that has as its coordinates the arithmetic mean of the coordinates of all points on the perimeter of the figure ( or of all points in the interior for a center of volume ) .
    5. A place where some function or activity occurs .
      shopping center
      convention center
    6. A topic that is particularly important in a given context .
      the center of the controversy
      the center of attention
    7. ( basketball ) The player, generally the tallest, who plays closest to the basket .
    8. ( ice hockey ) The forward that generally plays between the left wing and right wing and usually takes the faceoffs .
    9. ( US football ) The person who holds the ball at the beginning of each play .
    10. ( Canadian football ) The person who holds the ball at the beginning of each play .
    11. ( netball ) A player who can go all over the court, except the shooting circles .
    12. ( soccer ) A pass played into the centre of the pitch.
    13. ( rugby ) One of the backs operating in a central area of the pitch, either the inside centre or outside centre.




    center ( not comparable )

    1. Of, at, or related to a center .


    Related terms

    Usage notes

    The spelling centre is standard in UK English. In Canada it is typical in proper names, e.g. Toronto Centre for the Arts, but "center" is also commonly used otherwise, e.g. shopping center, center of town. Both spellings can be encountered even in the same text, e.g. in NHL hockey where there are many Canadian and US teams, reference might be made to the "center" forward position and a "centre" where a game is played .

    The indirect object of the intransitive verb is given the prepositions on, in, at, or around. At is primary used only in mathematical contexts .

    Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary observes that center around is objected to by some people on the grounds that it is illogical, but states that it is an idiom, and thus that such objections are irrelevant. It offers revolve around as an alternative to center around for those who would avoid the idiom .

    External links

    • center in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • center in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • center at OneLook Dictionary Search


Explanation of center by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. direct one's attention on something

    2. move into the center

    3. That vase in the picture is not centered
    4. center upon

    5. Her entire attention centered on her children
    1. equally distant from the extremes

    2. of or belonging to neither the right nor the left politically or intellectually

    1. a position on a basketball team of the player who participates in the jump that starts the game

    2. the position of the player on the line of scrimmage who puts the ball in play

    3. it is a center's responsibility to get the football to the quarterback
    4. the position on a hockey team of the player who participates in the face off at the beginning of the game

    5. a building dedicated to a particular activity

    6. they were raising money to build a new center for research
    7. the piece of ground in the outfield directly ahead of the catcher

    8. he hit the ball to deep center
    9. mercantile establishment consisting of a carefully landscaped complex of shops representing leading merchandisers

    10. a cluster of nerve cells governing a specific bodily process

    11. in most people the speech center is in the left hemisphere
    12. the object upon which interest and attention focuses

    13. his stories made him the center of the party
    14. the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience

    15. the sweet central portion of a piece of candy that is enclosed in chocolate or some other covering

    16. politically moderate persons

    17. the middle of a military or naval formation

    18. they had to reinforce the center
    19. a place where some particular activity is concentrated

    20. they received messages from several centers
    21. a point equidistant from the ends of a line or the extremities of a figure

    22. an area that is approximately central within some larger region

    23. it is in the center of town
    24. the person who plays center on the line of scrimmage and snaps the ball to the quarterback

    25. the center fumbled the handoff
    26. the person who plays center on a basketball team

    27. the person who plays center on a hockey team

    Definition of center by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. center ( sĕntẽr ), n. [F. centre, fr. L. centrum, fr. Gr. κέντρον any sharp point, the point round which a circle is described, fr. κεντεῖν 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 or place.

      2. The middle or central portion of anything.

      3. A principal or important point of concentration; the nucleus around which things are gathered or to which they tend; an object of attention, action, or force; as, “a center of attraction”.

      4. The earth. [Obs.] Shak.

      5. Those members of a legislative assembly ( as in France ) who support the existing government. They sit in the middle of the legislative chamber, opposite the presiding officer, between the conservatives or monarchists, who sit on the right of the speaker, and the radicals or advanced republicans who occupy the seats on his left, See Right, and Left.

      6. ( Arch. ) A temporary structure upon which the materials of a vault or arch are supported in position until the work becomes self-supporting.

      7. ( Mech. ) One of the two conical steel pins, in a lathe, etc., upon which the work is held, and about which it revolves. A conical recess, or indentation, in the end of a shaft or other work, to receive the point of a center, on which the work can turn, as in a lathe.

      ☞ In a lathe the live center is in the spindle of the head stock; the dead center is on the tail stock. Planer centers are stocks carrying centers, when the object to be planed must be turned on its axis.

      Center of an army, the body or troops occupying the place in the line between the wings. -- Center of a curve or Center of a surface ( Geom. ) A point such that every line drawn through the point and terminated by the curve or surface is bisected at the point. The fixed point of reference in polar coordinates. See Coordinates. -- Center of curvature of a curve ( Geom. ), the center of that circle which has at any given point of the curve closer contact with the curve than has any other circle whatever. See Circle. -- Center of a fleet, the division or column between the van and rear, or between the weather division and the lee. -- Center of gravity ( Mech. ), that point of a body about which all its parts can be balanced, or which being supported, the whole body will remain at rest, though acted upon by gravity. -- Center of gyration ( Mech. ), that point in a rotating body at which the whole mass might be concentrated ( theoretically ) without altering the resistance of the intertia of the body to
      angular acceleration or retardation. -- Center of inertia ( Mech. ), the center of gravity of a body or system of bodies. -- Center of motion, the point which remains at rest, while all the other parts of a body move round it. -- Center of oscillation, the point at which, if the whole matter of a suspended body were collected, the time of oscillation would be the same as it is in the actual form and state of the body. -- Center of percussion, that point in a body moving about a fixed axis at which it may strike an obstacle without communicating a shock to the axis. -- Center of pressure ( Hydros. ), that point in a surface pressed by a fluid, at which, if a force equal to the whole pressure and in the same line be applied in a contrary direction, it will balance or counteract the whole pressure of the fluid.

    2. Center, Centre v. i. [imp. & p. p. Centered or Centred ( sĕntẽrd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Centering or Centring.]
      1. To be placed in a center; to be central.

      2. To be collected to a point; to be concentrated; to rest on, or gather about, as a center.

      Where there is no visible truth wherein to center, error is as wide as men's fancies. Dr. H. More.

      Our hopes must center in ourselves alone. Dryden.

    3. Center , Centre v. t.
      1. To place or fix in the center or on a central point. Milton.

      2. To collect to a point; to concentrate.

      Thy joys are centered all in me alone. Prior.

      3. ( Mech. ) To form a recess or indentation for the reception of a center.