< /sɛnˈtrɑ lɛs/.

  1. (in Spanish America and the Philippines) a mill for crushing cane into raw sugar.


  1. a region in central Scotland. 1016 sq. mi. (2631 sq. km).


  1. in, at, of, from, containing, or forming the centre of somethingthe central street in a city; the central material of a golf ball
  2. main, principal, or chief; most importantthe central cause of a problem
    1. of or relating to the central nervous system
    2. of or relating to the centrum of a vertebra
  3. of, relating to, or denoting a vowel articulated with the tongue held in an intermediate position halfway between the positions for back and front vowels, as for the a of English soda
  4. (of a force) directed from or towards a point
  5. informal (immediately postpositive) used to describe a place where a specified thing, quality, etc is to be found in abundancenostalgia central

1640s, from French central or directly from Latin centralis “pertaining to a center,” from centrum (see center (n.)). Centrally is attested perhaps as early as early 15c., which might imply a usage of central earlier than the attested date.

Slightly older is centric (1580s). As a U.S. colloquial noun for “central telephone exchange,” first recorded 1889 (hence, “Hello, Central?”). Central processing unit attested from 1961. Central America is attested from 1826.

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