central

adjective
cen·​tral | \ ˈsen-trəl How to pronounce central (audio) \

Definition of central

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : containing or constituting a center
2 : of primary importance : essential, principal the central character of the novel
3a : situated at, in, or near the center the central part of the state
b : easily accessible from outlying districts a central location for the new theater
4a : centrally placed and superseding separate scattered units central heating
b : controlling or directing local or branch activities the central committee
5 : holding to a middle between extremes : moderate
6 : of, relating to, or comprising the brain and spinal cord also : originating within the central nervous system central deafness

central

noun

Definition of central (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a telephone exchange or operator
2 : a central office or bureau usually controlling others weather central
3 : a center or hub for a specified activity or group her house is party central the family room becomes kid central

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Other Words from central

Adjective

centrally \ ˈsen-​trə-​lē How to pronounce centrally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of central in a Sentence

Adjective

The house has four rooms and a central chimney. City planners are looking for a central location for the new hospital. The evidence was central to the defense's case. The country's schools are financed by both local and central governments. The central authority of the company's board is being challenged.

Noun

Our family room becomes kid central on weekends. a health club that has become dating central for singles in the area
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Lewandowski was a central figure in Mueller's report, which said Trump could not be exonerated on obstruction of justice charges. Mary Clare Jalonick, Fortune, "Lewandowski to Testify at First Impeachment Hearing as Democrats Investigate Trump," 17 Sep. 2019 Lewandowski was a central figure in Mueller’s report, which said Trump could not be exonerated on obstruction of justice charges. Mary Clare Jalonick, chicagotribune.com, "Corey Lewandowski to testify, 2 former Trump aides won’t, as House Judiciary Committee holds its first impeachment hearing," 17 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter The two GSEs have been central to America’s housing market for decades. The Economist, "Steven Mnuchin begins reforming America’s giant mortgage-guarantee firms," 14 Sep. 2019 Faith and the church have always been central to his life. Pat Mcdonogh, The Courier-Journal, "'We didn't have nobody but God': Louisville pastor reflects on the civil rights movement," 12 Sep. 2019 The 137-mile-long Altamaha River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Brunswick, is central to the local economy. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "After 'pure horror' of rescue, authorities ponder what to do with the Golden Ray," 11 Sep. 2019 The central figure in the debate, though, remains Mr. Trump. New York Times, "After String of Mass Shootings, Democrats Begin New Push for Gun Control," 10 Sep. 2019 The book’s first entry, the National Parks Portfolio, offers a telling case study about the creative fund management that has been central to the narrative of the national parks. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "A new book celebrates the graphic design legacy of US national parks," 9 Sep. 2019 Getty Images Most classic movies involve some kind of love story that's central to the plot. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "45 Classic Movies to Watch If You Love Rom-Coms," 9 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yu said, and proceeded to school me in the balancing and harmonizing of flavors ⁠— a tenet central to Chinese cooking. Los Angeles Times, "The ultimate mapo tofu recipe has a California twist," 19 Aug. 2019 Bradford Beach is volleyball central in the summer. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Visit Milwaukee and Wisconsin this summer, before the world does in 2020," 14 July 2019 The survey indicated that pheasant numbers grew in south-central and east-central Minnesota, and the highest numbers are in west-central and south-central Minnesota. USA TODAY, "Rare elephant calf, two-headed rattlesnake, another quake off Oregon: News from around our 50 states," 6 Sep. 2019 Maryland hunters in Region B (the state’s central, southern, and eastern regions) have the option to take one additional bonus buck after purchasing a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Trainer Anthony Aguirre Jr. earns first win on opening day at Laurel Park," 6 Sep. 2019 Zlatan was gradually replaced by Lionel Messi, who increasingly preferred to play central, and was loaned out to Milan the very next season, before joining the Italian giants permanently. SI.com, "7 Expensive Transfer Signings Who Flopped & Were Soon Shipped Out," 10 Aug. 2019 With several states passing laws this year severely restricting women’s access to abortions, most in the field have hammered at the issue as a central on the trial argument for why voters need to elect a Democrat in 2020. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Democrats take first swipes, highlight their differences in first night of debate," 26 June 2019 The regional averages were 1.89 drums per stop in the north (48% increase from 2018), 0.81 in the central (up 35%), 0.10 in the southwest (down 17%) and 0.01 in the southeast (down 50%). Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ruffed grouse drumming counts up 41% statewide," 15 June 2019 May was characterized by warm extremes in the Southeast and simultaneously cold extremes in the north-central. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "US just topped 125-year-old, 12-month rainfall total," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'central.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of central

Adjective

1623, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for central

Adjective

borrowed from Latin centrālis, from centrum center entry 1 + -ālis -al entry 1

Noun

derivative of central entry 1

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Statistics for central

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for central

The first known use of central was in 1623

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More Definitions for central

central

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of central

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in the middle of something : located in the center of a thing or place
: main or most important
: controlling all other parts : having power over the other parts

central

noun

English Language Learners Definition of central (Entry 2 of 2)

US, informal : a place where an activity takes place or a group meets : a place that is a center for an activity or group

central

adjective
cen·​tral | \ ˈsen-trəl How to pronounce central (audio) \

Kids Definition of central

:
1 : located or placed at, in, or near the center central Australia
2 : most important : chief The central character of the story is an orphan.

Other Words from central

centrally adverb

central

adjective
cen·​tral | \ ˈsen-trəl How to pronounce central (audio) \

Medical Definition of central

1 : of or concerning the centrum of a vertebra
2a : of, relating to, or comprising the brain and spinal cord
b : originating within the central nervous system : caused by factors originating in the central nervous system central precocious puberty
3 : affecting or involving the trunk of the body and especially the abdomen central adiposity

Other Words from central

centrally \ -​trə-​lē How to pronounce centrally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on central

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with central

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for central

Spanish Central: Translation of central

Nglish: Translation of central for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of central for Arabic Speakers

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