centrifugal force

centrifugal force


physics : a force that causes an object moving in a circular path to move out and away from the center of its path

Full Definition of CENTRIFUGAL FORCE

:  the apparent force that is felt by an object moving in a curved path that acts outwardly away from the center of rotation — compare centripetal force


circa 1721

centrifugal force

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Fictitious force, peculiar to circular motion, that is equal but opposite to the centripetal force that keeps a particle on a circular path (see centripetal acceleration). For example, a stone attached to a string and whirling in a horizontal circular path is accelerated toward the centre of its path by the tension in the string, the only force acting on the string. However, in a reference frame at rest with the stone, another force—the centrifugal force—must be introduced for Newton's laws of motion to apply. Centrifugal force is a useful concept in analyzing behaviour in rotating systems.


Next Word in the Dictionary: centrifugal governor
Previous Word in the Dictionary: centrifugal field
All Words Near: centrifugal force

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up centrifugal force? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More