: the point around which a circle or sphere is described
broadly: a point that is related to a geometrical figure in such a way that for any point on the figure there is another point on the figure such that a straight line joining the two points is bisected by the original point
What prepositions are used with center?: Usage Guide
The intransitive verb center is most commonly used with the prepositions in, on, at, and around. At appears to be favored in mathematical contexts; the others are found in a broad range of contexts. Center around, a standard idiom, has often been objected to as illogical. The logic on which the objections are based is irrelevant, since center around is an idiom and idioms have their own logic. Center on is currently more common in edited prose, and revolve around and similar verbs are available if you want to avoid center around.
the center of the room
The staircase is in the center of the building.
They are at the center of a furious debate over whether or not to expand the city's public transportation system.
The vaccine is being tested at several medical centers around the country. VerbCenter the picture on the wall.centered administrative duties under the command of a single personSee More
Recent Examples on the Web
Coffey has long arms and coaches’ trust to rebound and defend centers up to shooting guards.—Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 More than 100,000 people engage in telecom fraud each day in at least 1,000 scam centers in Myanmar, which shares a border with southwest China, Chinese state media has reported.—Reuters, NBC News, 22 Nov. 2023 Fold and pleat the border up and around the carrots, leaving the center open.—The View, ABC News, 22 Nov. 2023 It’s made with a baffle box construction, which allows the fill to create little puffs in the center.—Andrea Wurzburger, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Nov. 2023 Bake at 350°F for 45 to 55 minutes until center is almost set.—Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 22 Nov. 2023 Even the most personable artist depicts an outsized version of themselves as the center of the universe.—Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2023 Rentals Skis and snowboards for adults and kids can be rented from the on-site rental center.—Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 22 Nov. 2023 Israel has said Hamas runs a key command center underneath the hospital, and Israeli troops inside Gaza City are now about one mile from the hospital complex, raising fears among Gazans that the hospital will be attacked and prompting an evacuation of the majority of people on Friday.—Chao Deng, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2023
With the exact nature of the dispute unclear, speculation has largely centered around comments Hall and Oates have recently made about their relationship in the press.—Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2023 The talks from Saturday through Tuesday centered on how to create a board that everyone could trust.—Kevin Roose, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 Much of the riot’s destruction was centered in Koreatown, where tensions between the Black and Korean communities were already high after a Korean shopkeeper shot and killed a Black teenage girl in 1991 but received no prison time.—Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 The military activity is centered on a facility that Israeli armed forces said earlier this month was built on top of underground Hamas outposts that were present in 2010.—Omar Abdel-Baqui and Chao Deng, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2023 The series centers on a family with deep roots in New York law enforcement.—Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Nov. 2023 And Alison Roman’s cooking always centers her own pleasures.—Emily Heil, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 The 10-by-8-inch work is part of a diptych made up of eight scenes centered on the passion and crucifixion of Christ.—Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 17 Nov. 2023 The other option for a lineup change could’ve been centered on Rui Hachimura, who again played well in his second game back from a concussion.—Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'center.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English centre, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin centrum "point of the stationary leg of a pair of compasses, midpoint of a circle or sphere," borrowed from Greek kéntron "sting, goad, point, stationary point of a pair of compasses, midpoint of a circle or sphere," probably reshaping (after the base verb kenteîn) of késtron "toothed implement, name for several nettle-like plants," from kentéō, kenteîn "to sting, goad, prick" (going back to Indo-European *ḱent-, *ḱnt- "sting, prick," whence Old High German hantag "pointed," Latvian sīts "hunting spear") + -tron, suffix of instruments