Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Situated at, in, or near the center: the central states.
  • adj. Forming the center.
  • adj. Having dominant or controlling power or influence: the company's central office.
  • adj. Of basic importance; essential or principal: "Performance, including technological invention and artistic creation, will become central to education at all levels” ( Frederick Turner).
  • adj. Easily reached from various points: a central location for the new store.
  • adj. Of or constituting a single source controlling all components of a system: central air conditioning.
  • adj. Anatomy Of, relating to, or originating from the nervous system.
  • adj. Anatomy Relating to a centrum.
  • adj. Linguistics Articulated in the middle of the oral cavity; neither front nor back. Used of vowels, as the u in cut.
  • adj. Holding to a moderate ideological position between two extremes.
  • n. A telephone exchange.
  • n. An operator at a telephone exchange.
  • n. An office or agency at the center of a group of related activities that serves to control and coordinate them: traffic central.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. being in the centre
  • adj. being the most important
  • adj. having or containing the centre of something
  • adj. being very important, or key to something

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Relating to the center; situated in or near the center or middle; containing the center; of or pertaining to the parts near the center; equidistant or equally accessible from certain points.
  • n. The central, or one of the central, bones of the carpus or or tarsus. In the tarsus of man it is represented by the navicular.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or constituting the center: as, the central point of a circle; a central country of Europe.
  • Nuclear in constitution or principle; constituting that from which other related things proceed, or upon which they depend: as, the central facts of history; a central idea.
  • Passing through or near the center or middle; median: as, a central line; the New York Central Railroad.
  • In an at., of or relating to the centrum of a vertebra.
  • In neural., pertaining to a nerve-center: opposed to peripheral, or pertaining to the nerve-fibers or to the nervous terminations in sense-organs and muscles.
  • n. In a telephone system, the office from which the public and private lines radiate and in which the connections are made between the different lines, by means of a central switch-board.
  • n. Cane-grinding apparatus which serves for several sugar plantations.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. serving as an essential component
  • adj. in or near a center or constituting a center; the inner area
  • n. a workplace that serves as a telecommunications facility where lines from telephones can be connected together to permit communication

Etymologies

Latin centrālis, from centrum, center; see center.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin centrālis. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The enormous depth of alluvial soil found in the _bolsones_ or depressions of the Mexican plateau, formed from rock-decay, or of volcanic material accumulated by the great lakes of recent times which covered them in the central part of the great _mesa central_, bear striking evidence to the filling-up process of the past.

    Mexico Its Ancient and Modern Civilisation, History, Political Conditions, Topography, Natural Resources, Industries and General Development

  • Too, which criteria matches the term central England?

    Unthreaded #5 « Climate Audit

  • The moves by Mr. Maliki come after Mr. Allawi's Iraqiya bloc announced over the weekend that it was indefinitely suspending its participation in parliament to protest what it called the "central government's iron fist" in dealing with a bid by Sunni Arab leaders in several provinces to become regions with more powers independent of Baghdad.

    Government Teeters Amid Feuding

  • The few times the yuan has significantly weakened against the dollar during the trading day, rather than being guided down by Beijing through the daily setting of what it calls the central parity rate, have been due to the PBOC engineering a dollar shortage in China's interbank market, prompting banks to buy dollars on the foreign-exchange market to meet their own funding needs.

    Speculative Inflows Could Plague Beijing Again

  • In 1958, Francis Crick used and characterized the concept of information in the context of stating what he called the central dogma of molecular biology.

    Molecular Biology

  • COLLINS: Obama also talked about Afghanistan, which he calls the central front in the war on terror.

    CNN Transcript Jul 22, 2008

  • Our National Executive Committee said this in the context of addressing what it identified as the central task of the NDR - the intensification of the struggle for the eradication of poverty.

    ANC Today

  • He said he had gals come over to the condo to give him massages, that he had found the number in the "Washingtonian" magazine and recently he been using some what he called central American gals to give him massages.

    CNN Transcript Apr 29, 2007

  • WARNER: I had the opportunity to question him, because I was concerned about this recent military action and whether that sort of sidetracked the -- what I called the central focus now on electing a unified -- not electing, but forming a unified government.

    CNN Transcript Mar 28, 2006

  • But the bottom line is that the president does also have to concede in his speeches that he thinks this is what he calls the central front in the war on terrorism.

    CNN Transcript Oct 12, 2003

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  • The idea is central to .. , the central idea

    February 19, 2012