Definition of centrifugal
- centrifugal acceleration of a body
- a centrifugal pump
- centrifugal nerves of the heart
- centrifugal tendencies in modern society
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.
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.
: moving away from a center : acting in a direction away from a center
What made you want to look up centrifugal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz