Definition of central in US English:



  • 1Of, at, or forming the center.

    ‘the station has a central courtyard’
    • ‘It said there was also ‘an attractive shopping area around a central court.’’
    • ‘The central console and dash area was nice and cheerful looking, mainly down to a good, simple design encased in shiny metal effect.’
    • ‘Lower Broughton is one of several areas in central Salford which are to be targeted for regeneration in the coming years.’
    • ‘We have already installed many - more than 1,000 spaces in the central area as well as many more in the suburbs.’
    • ‘In the middle of its central courtyard rises a large stupa, which once contained large Buddhist images.’
    • ‘The Church serves members in Livingstone and as far south as Kabwe, in the central area of the country.’
    • ‘The whole lake area is divided into five parts, the northeast, the southeast, the northwest, the southwest and the central area.’
    • ‘Sunni Arabs live mainly in central areas without oil reserves and fear they will end up short changed.’
    • ‘Two long, shallow water tanks flank the central display booth area.’
    • ‘That whole southeastern area of central Sofia has a load of cool bars and lounges, most concentrated around Rakovski and Levski.’
    • ‘In addition, we need to face up to the fact that just about the only good public transport links in this area are into central London.’
    • ‘It includes the 1, 200m wall which runs around the whole central area of the estate.’
    • ‘Only those willing to have the priest smash a coconut on their heads were allowed into the central area of the temple.’
    • ‘Some of them were worried about what was being done to ease the situation in crowded central areas like Chikpet.’
    • ‘The central area was surprisingly quiet compared, say, to York's Stonegate, but it soon became clear why.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As they approached the central area of the building, Mike heard loud squeaking followed by a loud crash.’
    • ‘A firestorm would result: the heat in the central area rises so high that the fire consumes all available oxygen.’
    • ‘It has changed a little bit since I lived there; there is a lot of stuff going on around the central dock area where I used to work during my placement year.’
    • ‘The council's cabinet this week also gave the go-ahead to extensions to existing conservation areas in central Richmond and Kew Road.’
    middle, centre, halfway, midway, mid, median, medial, mean, middling, intermediate, intermedial
    inner, innermost, middle, mid, interior, nuclear
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    1. 1.1 Accessible from a variety of places.
      ‘coaches met at a central location’
      • ‘Now the keys to the gates and other access points are kept at a central location at Drumanakelly and can only be accessed from authorised personnel on site.’
      • ‘It would provide a more central, more accessible visitors' centre than the one in the De Grey Rooms it would replace.’
      • ‘With a central service area in the middle of the forest complex of stages, the road miles are being kept to the absolute minimum.’
      • ‘I don't know why they didn't have it on a weekend, or at least in a more central location.’
      • ‘Changes in user access requirements can be entered from the central location for all building occupants.’
      • ‘Because of its central location Portlaoise will provide ease of access for bands throughout the country.’
      • ‘The British chose the King David for its central location and because it was easy to guard.’
      • ‘It is in a central location with proper not makeshift access for disabled patients.’
      • ‘This ensures attendance information gathered will be recorded in, and accessible from, a central application.’
      • ‘But PCT chief executive Lynnette Throp said the services were needed and had to be central and accessible.’
      • ‘A central location could be established for posting a daily schedule.’
      • ‘Residents can access government documents in one central location by simply using the Document Management Tool.’
      • ‘The new capital required a secure and central location, easily accessible from all parts of the state.’
      • ‘Votes are counted incrementally on the spot and reported to a central location.’
      • ‘Other advantages of our facility here are the central and easily accessible location, plus plenty of free parking.’
      • ‘All documents are available to all members from the central location.’
      • ‘Then they would all assemble at a central location in London to receive their payments.’
      • ‘One area that is often overlooked in the health center is a central storage location for archival of health charts.’
    2. 1.2Phonetics (of a vowel) articulated in the center of the mouth.
      • ‘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 American history is central to his work’
    ‘the rising crime rate remained the central campaign issue’
    • ‘It is important that evidence is heard when it is central to determining the issues in the case.’
    • ‘Working with people you know, engage and connect with, have a relationship with is very important, are really central to the whole idea.’
    • ‘On both counts, principles which should be central to any liberal democracy have become dangerously eroded.’
    • ‘The tidy towns committees play a vital role that is central to community life and your continued efforts develop and improve our localities.’
    • ‘All the issues likely to be central to the presidential race were discussed at length.’
    • ‘How can the presidential candidates not address this issue so central to our future?’
    • ‘The concept of independence is central to the role of an attorney.’
    • ‘Three overlying principles are central to the commission's findings.’
    • ‘Endorsement should also be central to the campaign.’
    • ‘He used this genuine mandate to end American's war in Korea; the issue had been central to his campaign.’
    • ‘The leadership issues have been central to the company's shortcomings.’
    • ‘The mobility of these groups was an essential economic strategy, central to the very nature of their profession.’
    • ‘Those principles are now central to determining what is due process.’
    • ‘These promises were central to a campaign to win a UN Security Council seat.’
    • ‘This arrangement is based on Steiner's Fundamental Social Principle and has been central to the Camphill ethos.’
    • ‘David had a wide knowledge of the town and surrounding area and was a central player in the commercial and community life of Headford.’
    • ‘A coordinated and targeted media campaign was central to this effort.’
    • ‘She said tidy town committees played a vital role which was central to community life.’
    • ‘This parochial approach is not assisted by an academia that finds these issues, no matter how central to the issue of strategy, a bit of a yawn.’
    • ‘But the principle is central to Brown's personal election campaign.’
    main, chief, principal, primary, leading, foremost, first, most important, predominant, dominant, prominent, 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-
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    1. 2.1attributive (of a group or organization) having controlling power over a country or another organization.
      ‘central government’
      ‘the central office’
      • ‘Transfers, to be strictly controlled by an agent-free central European transfer office, will return.’
      • ‘The Bells have the advantage because they own the controlling central offices.’
      • ‘When I taught in Wake County Public Schools there was hardly anything that came from central office that was of a help to us.’
      • ‘That is, when you have a central organization, you tell people what to do and it's supposed to be all explicit.’
      • ‘Units from the People's Liberation Army and the central office of the armed police have organized a rescue effort.’
      • ‘The party is also divided top-down from the central committee to the local party offices.’
      • ‘The landscape has been acknowledged by central government organisations and committees as being of national significance.’
      • ‘It fears that the current proposals for the establishment of a central services organisation hand too much power to its commercial rivals.’
      • ‘His letters and articles prodded the Bolshevik central committee to seize power in November.’
      • ‘This current is powered by batteries in the telephone company's central office.’
      • ‘The central office greatly increased the districts' control and flexibility over resources.’
      • ‘I would like to see the SRC proposal extended so a central committee could look at all such requests on a case-by-case basis.’
      • ‘At this stage he took some interest in party organization and established central office in 1870.’
      • ‘The central committee will then provide direction.’
      • ‘Unlike many parts of Scotland, Stirling is not categorised as an area requiring assistance from central government.’
      • ‘The needs of the two central organizations drew increasing energy and some resentment from the churches.’
      • ‘The fee could then be administered by a central student organization.’
      • ‘The unstated message at the central committee was that Jiang has lost power but he will not be harmed politically.’
      • ‘The strike has the backing of the National Labor Front, Nicaragua's central labor organization.’
      • ‘A formal announcement would be made today after Hu was elected in Jiang's place by the 198 members of the central committee, the Post said.’


North American
  • A place with a high concentration of a specified type of person or thing.

    ‘you're in workaholic central here’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our first stop was in Shibuya, the bustling heart of Tokyo - consumerism central.’
    • ‘However, if your house is party central, Fuzion Frenzy has some potential.’
    • ‘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 center).