centrifugal

adjective
cen·​trif·​u·​gal | \sen-ˈtri-fyə-gəl, -ˈtri-fi-, especially British ˌsen-tri-ˈfyü-gəl\

Definition of centrifugal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : proceeding or acting in a direction away from a center or axis centrifugal acceleration of a body

2 : using or acting by centrifugal force a centrifugal pump

3 : efferent centrifugal nerves of the heart

4 : tending away from centralization : separatist centrifugal tendencies in modern society

centrifugal

noun

Definition of centrifugal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a centrifugal machine or a drum in such a machine

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Other Words from centrifugal

Adjective

centrifugally \ -​gə-​lē \ adverb

Centrifugal and Science

Centrifugal force is what keeps a string with a ball on the end taut when you whirl it around. A centrifuge is a machine that uses centrifugal force. At the end of a washing machine's cycle, it becomes a weak and simple centrifuge as it whirls the water out of your clothes. Centrifuges hundreds of thousands of times as powerful are essential to nuclear technology and drug manufacturing. Part of an astronaut's training occurs in a centrifuge that generates force equal to several times the force of gravity (about like a washing machine) to get them used to the forces they'll encounter in a real space mission.

Examples of centrifugal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The assumption of power by nationalists and other populists in the EU’s founder countries in Western Europe would greatly increase those centrifugal pressures. Marcus Walker, WSJ, "Europe’s Fragile Center Takes New Blows," 4 Mar. 2018 Two forces enable satellites to remain in orbit: the centrifugal punch that blasted it into space and Earth's gravitational pull. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Satellites: Streaking, manmade lights in the sky," 25 Mar. 2018 This supercharger, which is located downstream of the turbocharger, uses a centrifugal flow compressor—like the compressor side of a turbo—driven by a 48-volt electric motor. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, "Nine Things You Must Know about the New Mercedes Inline-Six," 20 Mar. 2018 The dynamic became centrifugal, with Democrats and Republicans becoming ever more defined by the issue. Anchorage Daily News, "Stances on guns, immigration reflect the sea change in cultural politics," 1 Mar. 2018 The iMac Pro also comes with a new dual centrifugal fan system that generates more airflow, Apple said when unveiling it in June. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "Apple's 'Most Powerful Mac Ever Made' Finally Has a Release Date," 12 Dec. 2017 In movement politics, the forces are all centrifugal, encouraging splits into smaller and smaller factions obsessed with single issues and practicing rituals of ideological one-upmanship. David Frum, The Atlantic, "Challenging the Dogmas of Right and Left," 18 Sep. 2017 In movement politics, the forces are all centrifugal, encouraging splits into smaller and smaller factions obsessed with single issues and practicing rituals of ideological one-upmanship. David Frum, The Atlantic, "Challenging the Dogmas of Right and Left," 18 Sep. 2017 In movement politics, the forces are all centrifugal, encouraging splits into smaller and smaller factions obsessed with single issues and practicing rituals of ideological one-upmanship. Mark Lilla, WSJ, "The Liberal Crackup," 11 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'centrifugal.' 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 centrifugal

Adjective

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1813, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for centrifugal

Adjective

New Latin centrifugus, from centr- + Latin fugere to flee — more at fugitive

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Time Traveler for centrifugal

The first known use of centrifugal was in 1709

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More Definitions for centrifugal

centrifugal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of centrifugal

: moving away from a center : acting in a direction away from a center

centrifugal

adjective
cen·​trif·​u·​gal | \sen-ˈtrif-yə-gəl, -ˈtrif-i-gəl \

Medical Definition of centrifugal 

: passing outward (as from a nerve center to a muscle or gland) : efferent

Other Words from centrifugal

centrifugally \ -​gə-​lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on centrifugal

Spanish Central: Translation of centrifugal

Nglish: Translation of centrifugal for Spanish Speakers

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