centrifugal force


Definition of centrifugal force

: the apparent force that is felt by an object moving in a curved path that acts outwardly away from the center of rotation — compare centripetal force

Examples of centrifugal force in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Overton said the spinning was caused by a combination of wind from the helicopter’s propellers, the ground below and the centrifugal force of the helicopter. Claire Rafford, azcentral, "Woman rescued by chopper off Phoenix mountain; basket carrying her spins out of control," 4 June 2019 Its rotors experience centrifugal forces that deform them against the apex seals lining the combustion chambers, which improves the sealing of those chambers. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "The Rhombus Rotary Engine: Can a Quirky New Design Top the Famous Wankel?," 18 Jan. 2019 When the engine spins fast enough, centrifugal force overwhelms the springs and pushes them into the drum, pulling it and the chain along. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Us Take Apart a Chainsaw Into 297 Pieces," 24 June 2015 Engineering solutions around this problem will be key to successfully implementing technology in space—with one possibility being using centrifugal forces from rotation of a spacecraft to separate the gases from the solution. Charles W. Dunnill, Scientific American, "Method of Making Oxygen from Water in Zero Gravity Raises Hope for Long-Distance Space Travel," 10 July 2018 The design lets the tires hurl water away via centrifugal force. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Goodyear Made Spherical MagLev Tires That Are Totally Nuts," 3 Mar. 2016 Meanwhile, the centrifugal force of grief pulled the family apart. Michael Paterniti, GQ, "Dragonman, the Man Who Sells “People-Hunting Guns”," 7 Mar. 2018 The driver’s considerable skills and centrifugal force are keeping you on the track. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "In Lake Placid, Olympic Sports and Spirit," 24 Jan. 2018 The special wheels are necessary because the centrifugal force generated from the high speeds would fling rubber tires off the rims. CBS News, "New land-speed record eyed by U.S. team in Nevada desert," 26 Jan. 2018

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

1698, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for centrifugal force

The first known use of centrifugal force was in 1698

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More Definitions for centrifugal force

centrifugal force


English Language Learners Definition of centrifugal force

physics : a force that causes an object moving in a circular path to move out and away from the center of its path

centrifugal force

cen·​trif·​u·​gal force | \ sen-ˈtri-fyə-gəl-\

Kids Definition of centrifugal force

: the force that tends to cause a thing or parts of a thing to go outward from a center of rotation

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More from Merriam-Webster on centrifugal force

Spanish Central: Translation of centrifugal force

Nglish: Translation of centrifugal force for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about centrifugal force

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