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

The central question is not whether VAR is making the tournament less beautiful or immediate. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The World Cup’s Instant-Replay Problem," 5 July 2019 The interior of the house opens onto an airy central courtyard filled with plants and light. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Moody concrete house is hiding a lush courtyard," 5 July 2019 Tropical Sargassum blooms appear to have flourished in years when the central Atlantic Ocean was rife with nutrients, satellite records indicate. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "This is the world’s largest patch of seaweed. And it’s growing in an unexpected place," 4 July 2019 This approach was central to getting my own business off the ground. Karn Manhas, Quartz at Work, "What if you posed your company’s mission statement as a question?," 2 July 2019 Much like, say, lung cancer, the child’s illness, central conducting lymphatic anomaly, can be caused by any of several mutations. STAT, "The boy was dying. Zebrafish helped save his life," 1 July 2019 The central ethical question that has emerged is what role a company like Wayfair can play in this ongoing crisis. Tanya Edwards, refinery29.com, "Inside Wayfair Employees' Protest Of The Company's Business With Migrant Detention Centers," 30 June 2019 Others regard the fluid experiment as an amusing demo that says nothing about black holes or their central mystery. Quanta Magazine, "Philosophers Debate New ‘Sonic Black Hole’ Discovery," 30 June 2019 And yet long-term care is not central to any of the candidates’ Medicare-for-all plans and few ever mention on the campaign trail the largest driver of long-term care expenses: Alzheimer’s and dementia. Jay Newton-small, Time, "The First 2020 Democratic Primary Debate Will Almost Certainly Skip A Key Healthcare Issue," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Kraenzlin told him that Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, then under construction, would have an on-site marine research center that could serve as command central for Stevens’s research. Alexandra Kirkman, Fortune, "These Sea Creatures Are Another Big Reason to Go to the Maldives," 8 June 2019 The quake hit central Sulawesi and a tsunami warning was issued. Fox News, "Powerful earthquake strikes Indonesia," 28 Sep. 2018 Amid all the authoritative aspects of SFB’s limpid dancing, Sasha De Sola’s wondrous performance of the central of the dance’s five leading women deserves special mention. Robert Greksovic, WSJ, "Dance as the Heart of the City," 7 Nov. 2018 In May, six black rhinos were moved from South Africa to Chad, restoring the species to the country in north-central Africa nearly half a century after it was wiped out there. Khaled Kazziha, Fox News, "7 endangered rhinos die in Kenya relocation bid: Official," 13 July 2018 De Gea made a crucial error in Spain's opener against Portugal, letting a central, albeit powerful shot by Cristiano Ronaldo, through his grasp. SI.com, "Spain Fans Want David De Gea Axed Following Calamitous Error Against Portugal," 18 June 2018

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

9 Jul 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

Comments on central

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