Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A point or place that is equally distant from the sides or outer boundaries of something; the middle: the center of a stage.
  • n. A point equidistant from the vertices of a regular polygon.
  • n. A point equidistant from all points on the circumference of a circle or on the surface of a sphere.
  • n. A point around which something rotates or revolves: The sun is the center of our solar system.
  • n. A part of an object that is surrounded by the rest; a core: chocolates with soft centers.
  • n. A place where a particular activity or service is concentrated: a medical center.
  • n. A point of origin, as of influence, ideas, or actions: a center of power; a center of unrest.
  • n. An area of dense population: a metropolitan center.
  • n. A person or thing that is the chief object of attention, interest, activity, or emotion.
  • n. A person, object, or group occupying a middle position.
  • n. A political group or a set of policies representing a moderate view between those of the right and the left.
  • n. Physiology A group of neurons in the central nervous system that control a particular function: the vasomotor center.
  • n. Sports A player who holds a middle position on the field, court, or forward line in some team sports, such as football and basketball.
  • n. Baseball Center field.
  • n. A small conical hole made in a piece of work with a center punch so that a drill can be accurately positioned within it.
  • n. A bar with a conical point used to support work, as during turning on a lathe.
  • n. Architecture A centering.
  • transitive v. To place in or at the center: centered the vase on the table.
  • transitive v. To direct toward a center or central point; concentrate or focus: tried to center the discussion on the main issues.
  • transitive v. Sports To pass (a ball or puck) toward the center of a playing area.
  • transitive v. Sports To play as a center on (a line), as in ice hockey.
  • transitive v. Football To pass (the ball) back between the legs to begin a down.
  • intransitive v. To be concentrated; cluster: The epidemic centered in the urban areas.
  • intransitive v. To have a central theme or concern; be focused: Her novels center on the problems of adolescence.
  • intransitive v. Sports To play as a center.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The middle portion of something; the part well away from the edges.
  • n. The point on a line that is midway between the ends.
  • n. 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).
  • n. A place where some function or activity occurs.
  • n. A topic that is particularly important in a given context.
  • n. The player, generally the tallest, who plays closest to the basket.
  • n. The forward that generally plays between the left wing and right wing and usually takes the faceoffs.
  • n. The person who holds the ball at the beginning of each play.
  • n. The person who holds the ball at the beginning of each play.
  • n. A player who can go all over the court, except the shooting circles.
  • n. A pass played into the centre of the pitch.
  • n. One of the backs operating in a central area of the pitch, either the inside centre or outside centre.
  • adj. Of, at, or related to a center.
  • v. To cause (an object) to occupy the center of an area.
  • v. To cause (some attribute, such as a mood or voltage) to be adjusted to a value which is midway between the extremes.
  • v. To concentrate on (something), to pay close attention to (something).
  • v. To form a recess or indentation for the reception of a center.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. The middle or central portion of anything.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The earth.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A temporary structure upon which the materials of a vault or arch are supported in position until the work becomes self-supporting.
  • n.
  • n. One of the two conical steel pins, in a lathe, etc., upon which the work is held, and about which it revolves.
  • n. 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.
  • intransitive v. To be placed in a center; to be central.
  • intransitive v. To be collected to a point; to be concentrated; to rest on, or gather about, as a center.
  • transitive v. To place or fix in the center or on a central point.
  • transitive v. To collect to a point; to concentrate.
  • transitive v. To form a recess or indentation for the reception of a center.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To place on a center; fix on a central point.
  • To collect to a point.
  • To be placed in a center or in the middle.
  • To meet or be collected in one point; be concentrated or united in or about a focus, literally or figuratively.
  • n. That point from which all the points of a circumference or of the superficies of a sphere are equally distant: in a regular figure or body the center is a point so situated with reference to the circumscribed circle or sphere.
  • n. The middle point or part of any surface or solid.
  • n. The fixed point once supposed to exist in the middle of the universe.
  • n. In heraldry, the middle point, whether of the whole field or of the chief or base.
  • n. One of the points of the two lathe-spindles on which an object to be turned is placed, distinguished as the front or live center, on the spindle of the head-stock, and the dead center, on that of the tail-stock: also, one of two similar points for holding an object to be operated on by some other machine, as a planing-machine, and enabling the object to be turned round on its axis.
  • n. A point of concentration or diffusion; the nucleus about which or into which things are collected or from which they diverge or emerge: as, a center of attraction; a center of power.
  • n. The central object; the principal point; the point of chief interest: as, the center of a diplomatic negotiation.
  • n. 8. Milit.:
  • n. In an army, the body of troops occupying the middle place in the line, between the wings.
  • n. In a fleet, the division between the van and rear of the line of battle, or between the weather and lee divisions in the order of sailing.
  • n. 9. In marksmanship:
  • n. The part of a target next the bull's-eye.
  • n. A shot striking the target within the circle or square next the bull's-eye.
  • n. 10. The title given to the leaders of the organization of Fenians.
  • n. In the French and some other legislative assemblies, the name given to the group of deputies who hold moderate views, intermediate between the Right, or conservatives, and the Left, of which the extreme is the radical party.
  • n. The mean position of a figure or system: as, the center of mass or of inertia. (See below.)
  • n. A point such that, if the whole mass considered were concentrated there, some important result would remain unchanged: as, the center of gravity.
  • n. See harmonic.
  • n. Synonyms Midst, etc. See middle. n.
  • n. An arched frame on which the arch of a bridge or any vaulted work is supported during its construction: same as centering.
  • n. A point so situated with regard to a locus that all chords of the locus, drawn through the point, are bisected in it. The pole of a straight at infinity with respect to a certain conic is the center of the conic.
  • n. In foot-ball, roller-polo, basket-ball, hockey, and other games, the one who plays in the middle of the forward line; in foot-ball, the snap-back.
  • n. Any group or collection of cells, within the brain, that subserves a single function.
  • n. The point at which a body must be supported in order to remain quietly balanced when the wind is blowing on it. For plane plates the location of the center as determined by Kümmer varies with the dimensions of the plate, but is always in front of the center of the figure.
  • n. The visual center of the retina, where sight is keenest. Also called the yellow spot. See macula lutea, under macula and also under retina (10).
  • n. The center about which any moving piece or assemblage of pieces in a mechanism can be supposed to be rotating at any instant. Notwithstanding that the relative positions of such pieces or links may be constantly changing, yet at any instant they will be turning round a common center, which, however, shifts in space with each new relative position of the links. The determination of the virtual center, as it is sometimes called, is of use in estimating the relative velocity-ratios and forces acting on the bodies.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or belonging to neither the right nor the left politically or intellectually
  • adj. equally distant from the extremes
  • n. (basketball) the person who plays center on a basketball team
  • n. politically moderate persons; centrists
  • n. the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
  • n. a building dedicated to a particular activity
  • n. the sweet central portion of a piece of candy that is enclosed in chocolate or some other covering
  • n. a point equidistant from the ends of a line or the extremities of a figure
  • n. the object upon which interest and attention focuses
  • v. direct one's attention on something
  • v. center upon
  • n. the piece of ground in the outfield directly ahead of the catcher
  • n. mercantile establishment consisting of a carefully landscaped complex of shops representing leading merchandisers; usually includes restaurants and a convenient parking area; a modern version of the traditional marketplace
  • n. a cluster of nerve cells governing a specific bodily process
  • n. the position on a hockey team of the player who participates in the face off at the beginning of the game
  • n. (American football) the position of the player on the line of scrimmage who puts the ball in play
  • n. a position on a basketball team of the player who participates in the jump that starts the game
  • v. move into the center
  • n. the middle of a military or naval formation
  • n. an area that is approximately central within some larger region
  • n. a place where some particular activity is concentrated
  • n. (ice hockey) the person who plays center on a hockey team
  • n. (football) the person who plays center on the line of scrimmage and snaps the ball to the quarterback

Etymologies

Middle English centre, from Old French, from Latin centrum, from Greek kentron, center of a circle, from kentein, to prick.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French centre, from Latin centrum, from Ancient Greek κέντρον (kentron), from κεντεῖν (kentein, "to prick, goad"). (Wiktionary)

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