One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Moving or tending to move towards a centre.The opposite of centrifugal
- ‘The competing forces of gravity at the lower end and outward centripetal acceleration at the farther end keep the cable under tension.’
- ‘The centripetal acceleration of this system rapidly became very high.’
- ‘The pattern of differentiation could thus be visualized as a centripetal wave moving inward from a ring of already differentiated cells.’
- ‘But as soon as they are seen from any distance, they erupt into pulsing centripetal and centrifugal vortices.’
- ‘This is how fast the Earth would need to rotate to get centripetal acceleration at the equator equal to 9.81 m/s.’
Early 18th century: from modern Latin centripetus, from Latin centrum (see centre) + -petus ‘seeking’ (from petere ‘seek’).
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