area centralis

noun area cen·tra·lis \-sen-ˈtra-ləs, -ˈträ-, -ˈtrā-\

Definition of area centralis


  1. 1 :  macula lutea Light from the very center of the visual field, the area of space that we “are looking at,” projects onto the area centralis or macula. — Peggy Mason, Medical Neurobiology, 2011

  2. 2 :  a small region near the center of the retina of various vertebrates that is highly concentrated with cones and rods, plays an important role in visual acuity, and is analogous to the macula lutea The area of maximal visual acuity and highest cone density in the retina of the horse is the area centralis. — Dennis Eugene Brooks, Ophthalmology for the Equine Practitioner, 2002 By contrast, dogs have what is called an area centralis: a broad central region with fewer receptors than a fovea, but more than in peripheral parts of the eye. — Alexandra Horowitz, Inside of a Dog, 2009

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of area centralis

borrowed from New Latin, literally, “central area”

First Known Use: 1862

Seen and Heard

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


a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

Get Word of the Day daily email!