core

If you're looking for the most essential part or the very center of something, you're looking for its core. Like the inedible middle of an apple or your inner circle of core friends.

In the late 14th century, the noun core came about from the Old French coeur, meaning “core of fruit” and more literally, “heart.” So the core of something is its very heart, whether you're talking about the seed-containing center of a fruit, the central meaning of a book, or the core courses you need to take in order to graduate.

Definitions of core
  1. noun
    the center of an object
    “the ball has a titanium core
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    types:
    corn cob, corncob
    the hard cylindrical core that bears the kernels of an ear of corn
    type of:
    center, centre, midpoint
    a point equidistant from the ends of a line or the extremities of a figure
  2. noun
    the central part of the Earth
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    type of:
    center, centre, midpoint
    a point equidistant from the ends of a line or the extremities of a figure
  3. noun
    a cylindrical sample of soil or rock obtained with a hollow drill
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    type of:
    sample
    all or part of a natural object that is collected and preserved as an example of its class
  4. verb
    remove the core or center from
    core an apple”
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    type of:
    core out, hollow, hollow out
    remove the interior of
  5. noun
    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
    synonyms: center, centre, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, pith, substance, sum
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    types:
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    bare bones
    (plural) the most basic facts or elements
    hypostasis
    (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
    quintessence
    the purest and most concentrated essence of something
    stuff
    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
  6. noun
    a small group of indispensable persons or things
    “five periodicals make up the core of their publishing program”
    synonyms: core group, nucleus
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    types:
    cadre
    a nucleus of military personnel capable of expansion
    type of:
    set
    a group of things of the same kind that belong together and are so used
  7. noun
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    synonyms: burden, effect, essence, gist
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    type of:
    import, meaning, significance, signification
    the message that is intended or expressed or signified
  8. noun
    a bar of magnetic material (as soft iron) that passes through a coil and serves to increase the inductance of the coil
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    type of:
    bar
    a rigid piece of metal or wood; usually used as a fastening or obstruction or weapon
  9. noun
    (computer science) a tiny ferrite toroid formerly used in a random access memory to store one bit of data; now superseded by semiconductor memories
    “each core has three wires passing through it, providing the means to select and detect the contents of each bit”
    synonyms: magnetic core
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    type of:
    toroid, torus
    a ring-shaped surface generated by rotating a circle around an axis that does not intersect the circle
  10. noun
    the chamber of a nuclear reactor containing the fissile material where the reaction takes place
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    type of:
    chamber
    a natural or artificial enclosed space
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