cen·​trif·​u·​gal | \ sen-ˈtri-fyə-gəl How to pronounce centrifugal (audio) , -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



Definition of centrifugal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a centrifugal machine or a drum in such a machine

Other Words from centrifugal


centrifugally \ sen-​ˈtri-​fyə-​gə-​lē How to pronounce centrifugal (audio) , -​ˈtri-​fi-​ , especially British  ˌsen-​tri-​ˈfyü-​gə-​ \ 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 Cold press juicers tend to be more expensive than their centrifugal counterparts because their machinery is designed to slowly and gently separate juice. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, 31 May 2022 Another common form of hair loss is central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, or CCCA, which is a form of scarring alopecia that occurs on the scalp and causes permanent hair loss. NBC News, 7 Jan. 2022 The modern era was characterized by fluidity, by centrifugal forces that redistributed power away from long-standing centers of authority. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 Souter is a centrifugal intellectual force in Rosengart’s career, a proverbial north star, the person to whom Rosengart turns when grappling with legal questions and quandaries about life. Malina Saval, Variety, 21 Apr. 2022 For you, fruit juice friend, the Breville Juice Fountain Plus is the best centrifugal juicer. Lauren Joseph, Bon Appétit, 17 Mar. 2022 But besides that noisiness, centrifugal juicers do have their appeal. Lauren Joseph, Bon Appétit, 17 Mar. 2022 Because of the Navi’s centrifugal clutch, all standing starts begin from a puttering idle. Dan Neil, WSJ, 4 Mar. 2022 There will be a lot less exploratory behavior if the ant raft is spinning in response to centrifugal or shear forces. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Made from food-grade stainless steel, the 65-pound PURE does, as the name suggests, require more steps than a typical centrifugal or masticating juicer. Alyson Sheppard, Robb Report, 5 Aug. 2021 That’s what centrifugal means—to flee (fugere) the center. Rhett Allain, Wired, 11 Apr. 2020 Five years ago, his kits for Porsche 911s and BMW M3s, which employed a Vortec centrifugal supercharger, were the most popular. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, 21 Feb. 2020 There will be a lot less exploratory behavior if the ant raft is spinning in response to centrifugal or shear forces. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 8 Dec. 2019 Plenty of people remain almost crazy with anger, and the country’s political and cultural forces overall remain centrifugal, driving people to extremes. Lance Morrow, WSJ, 17 Oct. 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of centrifugal


1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1813, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for centrifugal


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

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Time Traveler for centrifugal

Time Traveler

The first known use of centrifugal was in 1709

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Dictionary Entries Near centrifugal



centrifugal blower

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Statistics for centrifugal

Last Updated

5 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Centrifugal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centrifugal. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for centrifugal


cen·​trif·​u·​gal | \ sen-ˈtrif-yə-gəl, -ˈtrif-i-gəl How to pronounce centrifugal (audio) \

Medical Definition of centrifugal

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

Other Words from centrifugal

centrifugally \ -​gə-​lē How to pronounce centrifugal (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on centrifugal

Nglish: Translation of centrifugal for Spanish Speakers


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