Definition of central in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɛntr(ə)l/


1At the point or in the area that is in the middle of something: the station has a central courtyard central London
More example sentences
  • In the middle of its central courtyard rises a large stupa, which once contained large Buddhist images.
  • The whole lake area is divided into five parts, the northeast, the southeast, the northwest, the southwest and the central area.
  • Council cabinet members next week are expected to approve a proposal that would see the pilot project extended to cover the Maltby and central Rotherham area.
1.1Accessible from a variety of places: coaches met at a central location
More example sentences
  • The new capital required a secure and central location, easily accessible from all parts of the state.
  • Other advantages of our facility here are the central and easily accessible location, plus plenty of free parking.
  • Changes in user access requirements can be entered from the central location for all building occupants.
1.2 Phonetics (Of a vowel) articulated in the centre of the mouth.
Example sentences
  • In view of the time required to move to more peripheral vowel positions, tense vowels tend to be peripheral and lax vowels closer to schwa, the neutral or central vowel.
  • The near-open central vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages.
  • Some linguists claim that it is a back vowel, others argue that it is a central vowel.
2Of the greatest importance; principal or essential: his preoccupation with history is central to his work
More example sentences
  • But the principle is central to Brown's personal election campaign.
  • He used this genuine mandate to end American's war in Korea; the issue had been central to his campaign.
  • This arrangement is based on Steiner's Fundamental Social Principle and has been central to the Camphill ethos.
main, chief, principal, primary, leading, foremost, first, most important, predominant, dominant, (most) prominent, key, crucial, vital, essential, basic, fundamental, core, staple, critical, pivotal, salient, prime, focal, premier, paramount, major, ruling, master, supreme, overriding, cardinal, capital, pre-eminent, ultimate, uppermost, highest, utmost, top, topmost, arch-
informal number-one
2.1 [attributive] Having or denoting supreme power over a country or organization: central government
More example sentences
  • At this stage he took some interest in party organization and established central office in 1870.
  • The landscape has been acknowledged by central government organisations and committees as being of national significance.
  • His letters and articles prodded the Bolshevik central committee to seize power in November.


North American informal
A place with a high concentration of a specified type of person or thing: you’re in workaholic central here
More example sentences
  • She turns up in a town called Dogville, which is not the comedy central of the USA.
  • One construction worker broke his leg, my uncle was injured by one of his tools - it was poltergeist central.
  • I got up to my room and set up my bed as dance preparation central.


Mid 17th century: from French, or from Latin centralis, from centrum (see centre).

Words that rhyme with central

epicentral, ventral

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cen|tral

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