Other forms: centers; centered; centering; centeredly

Whether you are the center of attention or hanging out at the recreation center, you are in the middle of it all.

You might think of a circle when you think of a center, but a center is also a building or group of buildings. One five-sided place, the Pentagon in the U.S., is actually a center of government activity. A recreation center is a place where a lot of recreation happens, just as a medical center is where a lot of doctors and nurses give medical treatment. These centers are buildings or complexes where a certain kind of activity takes place, and a word before center often tells you what the activity is. As a verb, you can center your attention on something or center a centerpiece in the middle of a table.

Definitions of center
  1. noun
    an area that is approximately central within some larger region
    “it is in the center of town”
    synonyms: centre, eye, heart, middle
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    City of London
    the part of London situated within the ancient boundaries; the commercial and financial center of London
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    center stage, centre stage
    the central area on a theater stage
    central city, city center, city centre
    the central part of a city
    storm center, storm centre
    the central area or place of lowest barometric pressure within a storm
    financial center
    the part of a city where financial institutions are centered
    a center of activity or interest or commerce or transportation; a focal point around which events revolve
    inner city
    the older and more populated and (usually) poorer central section of a city
    medical center
    the part of a city where medical facilities are centered
    (sports) the middle part of a playing field (as in football or lacrosse)
    a center of authority (as a city from which authority is exercised)
    the middle of a stream
    a seat of government
    civic center, down town, municipal center
    the center of a city
    county courthouse, county seat
    the town or city that is the seat of government for a county
    county town, shire town
    the town or city that is the seat of government for a shire
    the seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located
    type of:
    area, country
    a particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography)
  2. noun
    a point equidistant from the ends of a line or the extremities of a figure
    synonyms: centre, midpoint
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    the middle part of a slack rope (as distinguished from its ends)
    center of curvature, centre of curvature
    the center of the circle of curvature
    the center of the Earth
    bull, bull's eye
    the center of a target
    center of gravity, centre of gravity
    the point within something at which gravity can be considered to act; in uniform gravity it is equal to the center of mass
    center of mass, centre of mass
    point representing the mean position of the matter in a body
    the center of an object
    navel, navel point
    the center point or middle of something
    the center point on a shield
    the central part of the Earth
    the positively charged dense center of an atom
    (astronomy) the center of the head of a comet; consists of small solid particles of ice and frozen gas that vaporizes on approaching the sun to form the coma and tail
    center of buoyancy, center of immersion, centre of buoyancy, centre of immersion
    (physics) the center of mass of the immersed part of ship or other floating object
    center of flotation, centre of flotation
    the center of gravity of a floating object
    (astronomy) the common center of mass around which two or more bodies revolve
    the center of mass of an object of uniform density
    cob, corn cob, corncob
    the hard cylindrical core that bears the kernels of an ear of corn
    type of:
    the precise location of something; a spatially limited location
  3. noun
    the middle of a military or naval formation
    “they had to reinforce the center
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    type of:
    an arrangement of people or things acting as a unit
  4. noun
    the sweet central portion of a piece of candy that is enclosed in chocolate or some other covering
    synonyms: centre
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    type of:
    confection, sweet
    a food rich in sugar
  5. verb
    move into the center
    “That vase in the picture is not centered
    synonyms: centre
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    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  6. adjective
    equally distant from the extremes
    synonyms: halfway, middle, midway
    in or near a center or constituting a center; the inner area
  7. noun
    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
    synonyms: centre, core, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, pith, substance, sum
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    bare bones
    (plural) the most basic facts or elements
    (metaphysics) essential nature or underlying reality
    haecceity, quiddity
    the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is and makes it different from any other
    distillation, quintessence
    the purest and most concentrated essence of something
    a critically important or characteristic component
    type of:
    cognitive content, content, mental object
    the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
  8. noun
    the object upon which interest and attention focuses
    “his stories made him the center of the party”
    synonyms: center of attention, centre, centre of attention
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    conversation piece
    something interesting that stimulates conversation
    a center of interest
    something that strongly attracts attention and admiration
    a striking person or thing that attracts attention
    type of:
    the focus of cognitions or feelings
  9. verb
    center upon
    “Her entire attention centered on her children”
    synonyms: center on, concentrate on, focus on, revolve about, revolve around
  10. verb
    direct one's attention on something
    synonyms: centre, concentrate, focus, pore, rivet
    hold (someone's attention)
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    absorb, engross, engulf, immerse, plunge, soak up, steep
    devote (oneself) fully to
    cause one's (or someone else's) thoughts or attention to return from a reverie or digression
    focus one's attention on a certain state
    zoom in
    examine closely; focus one's attention on
    hear, listen, take heed
    listen and pay attention
    drink, drink in
    be fascinated or spell-bound by; pay close attention to
    bend or turn (one's ear) towards a speaker in order to listen well
    type of:
    cerebrate, cogitate, think
    use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments
  11. noun
    a position on a basketball team of the player who participates in the jump that starts the game
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    type of:
    (in team sports) the role assigned to an individual player
  12. noun
    (basketball) the person who plays center on a basketball team
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    William Felton Russell
    United States basketball center (born in 1934)
    type of:
    basketball player, basketeer, cager
    an athlete who plays basketball
  13. noun
    the position on a hockey team of the player who participates in the face off at the beginning of the game
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    type of:
    (in team sports) the role assigned to an individual player
  14. noun
    (ice hockey) the person who plays center on a hockey team
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    type of:
    hockey player, ice-hockey player
    an athlete who plays hockey
  15. noun
    (American football) the position of the player on the line of scrimmage who puts the ball in play
    “it is a center's responsibility to get the football to the quarterback”
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    type of:
    (American football) the position of a player on a football team who is stationed on the line of scrimmage
  16. noun
    (football) the person who plays center on the line of scrimmage and snaps the ball to the quarterback
    “the center fumbled the handoff”
    synonyms: snapper
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    type of:
    one of the players on the line of scrimmage
  17. noun
    the piece of ground in the outfield directly ahead of the catcher
    “he hit the ball to deep center
    synonyms: center field, centerfield
  18. noun
    a place where some particular activity is concentrated
    “they received messages from several centers
    synonyms: centre
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    nerve center, nerve centre
    a center that provides information and control
    a center that is associated more than any other with some activity or product
    type of:
    place, property
    any area set aside for a particular purpose
  19. noun
    a building dedicated to a particular activity
    “they were raising money to build a new center for research”
    synonyms: centre
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    burn center
    a center where patients with severe burns can be treated
    call center, call centre
    a center equipped to handle a large volume of telephone calls (especially for taking orders or serving customers)
    civic center, community center
    a center where the members of a community can gather for social or cultural activities
    conference center, conference house
    a center where conferences can be conducted
    control center
    the operational center for a group of related activities
    research center, research facility
    a center where research is done
    service club
    a recreational center for servicemen
    settlement house
    a center in an underprivileged area that provides community services
    student center
    a center for student activities at a college or university
    type of:
    building, edifice
    a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place
  20. noun
    mercantile establishment consisting of a carefully landscaped complex of shops representing leading merchandisers; usually includes restaurants and a convenient parking area; a modern version of the traditional marketplace
  21. noun
    a cluster of nerve cells governing a specific bodily process
    “in most people the speech center is in the left hemisphere”
    synonyms: centre, nerve center, nerve centre
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    auditory center
    the part of the brain (in a fold of the cerebral cortex of the temporal lobe on both sides of the brain) that receives impulses from the ear by way of the auditory nerve
    olfactory brain, rhinencephalon
    a center in the cerebral hemispheres that governs the sense of smell in lower animals; in humans it seems to mediate complex emotional behavior
    Broca's area, Broca's center, Broca's convolution, Broca's gyrus, convolution of Broca
    the motor speech center in the left hemisphere of the brain in most people
    Wernicke's area, Wernicke's center
    the auditory word center; located in the posterior part of the superior temporal convolution in most people
    superior colliculus
    an essential visual center between the retina and the striate cortex
    inferior colliculus
    an essential auditory center in the midbrain
    respiratory center
    the center in the medulla oblongata and pons that integrates sensory information about the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood and determines the signals to be sent to the respiratory muscles
    type of:
    neural structure
    a structure that is part of the nervous system
  22. noun
    politically moderate persons; centrists
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    type of:
    class, social class, socio-economic class, stratum
    people having the same social, economic, or educational status
  23. adjective
    of or belonging to neither the right nor the left politically or intellectually
    centrist, middle-of-the-road
    supporting or pursuing a course of action that is neither liberal nor conservative
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    of or belonging to the political or intellectual right
    of or belonging to the political or intellectual left
    socialist, socialistic
    advocating or following the socialist principles
    resistant to change
    tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition
    having social or political views favoring conservatism
    old-line, oldline
    adhering to conservative or reactionary principles
    far-right, reactionary, reactionist
    extremely conservative
    tending toward the political right
    right-wing, rightist
    believing in or supporting tenets of the political right
    far left
    radical or extremely liberal
    tending toward the political left
    left-of-center, left-wing, leftist
    believing in or supporting tenets of the political left
    having political or social views favoring reform and progress
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