The Definition of the Word
Center is both a noun and a verb.
According to the Lexico.com, the word center means a point that’s located an equal distance from every point on the circumference of a circle or sphere.
Cut from the center of the apple pie.
It also means, “The point from which an activity or process is directed, or on which it is focused.”
His illegal behavior stood at the center of the controversy.
In other words, it is a point around which activity revolves or the axis around which space revolves.
The turnpike cuts through the center of the state.
Similarly, center could mean a point from which the activity originates, is directed, or is focused.
The customer service dept. is the center of all operations in any customer-centric organization.
Center may also refer to a group of buildings or places where a specific activity is carried out. For instance, a conference center would have several meeting venues, designed for the purpose of holding conferences.
The Boston Data Center hosts the annual information system symposium.
In basketball, the center, or the five, refers to a tall player positioned near the basket.
Anthony Davis played center in the 2012 NBA team.
In mathematics and physics, the geometric center of a plane figure is the arithmetic mean position of all the points in the figure.
As a verb, center may mean that an event or action occurs in a particular place.
The organization was centered in New York.
Center may refer to having an area of focus.
The study centers on the relationship between high frequency electromagnetic waves (exempli gratia those from microwave ovens) and disease.
In sports, the word center often refers to either playing a central position or to passing the ball to a more central position on the sports field.
She centered in the last ten games of the season.
Center can also mean moving something to the center or placing something in the middle.
He centered the painting on the wall, moving it a centimeter to the right.
History and Origin of the Word
In British English, center is spelled “centre,” whereas American English uses the “-er” spelling. Shakespeare, Milton, and Pope spelled the word “-re.” Center referred to “the middle of anything” starting in the 1590’s, according to The Online Etymology Dictionary. The definition “point of concentration” came into being in the 1680’s.
In France, the political meaning of center originated in 1837, referring to “representatives of moderate views.” The phrase “center of gravity” was first recorded in the 1650’s, whereas the phrase “center of attention” developed in 1868.
Synonyms for Center
- Ground Zero
- Nerve Center
Examples of the Word in Context
“The geographic center of the United States is a point approximately 20 mi (32 km) north of Belle Fourche, South Dakota at 44°58′2.07622″N 103°46′17.60283″W. It has been regarded as such by the U.S. National Geodetic Survey (NGS) since the additions of Alaska and Hawaii to the United States in 1959.“
“The Klingenstein Center’s work is strengthened and informed by the contributions of an advisory council of experienced independent and international educators. The Advisory Board serves as a think-tank on issues of importance to the Center and the field.”
—Teachers College, Columbia University
“The National Center for Health Statistics has a mission to provide statistics and data that can guide public policies and actions. Its goal is to improve the health of Americans. It is the United States’ principal health statistics agency.”
—U.S. National Library of Medicine
“The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES) is the Greek national entity for the promotion of renewable energy sources …”
—The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving
Examples of the Abbreviation in Context
- Meet me in the CTR of town.
- Note to Adm.—Please cntr. the text.
- Did you remember to pass to the ctr of the fld?
- I think it looks better in the cntr.
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Kevin Miller is a growth marketer with an extensive background in Search Engine Optimization, paid acquisition and email marketing. He is also an online editor and writer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google and became infatuated with English Grammar and for years has been diving into the language, demystifying the do's and don'ts for all who share the same passion! He can be found online here.