Meaning of CENTER in English


I. cen ‧ ter /ˈsentə $ -ər/ BrE AmE

the American spelling of ↑ centre

II. cen ‧ tre 1 S1 W1 BrE AmE British English , center American English /ˈsentə $ -ər/ noun

[ Word Family: noun : CENTRE/CENTER , ↑ centralization ≠ ↑ decentralization , ↑ centralism , ↑ centrist ; adjective : ↑ central , ↑ centralized ≠ ↑ decentralized , CENTRED/CENTERED , ↑ centrist ; verb : CENTRE/CENTER , ↑ centralize ≠ ↑ decentralize ; adverb : ↑ centrally ]

1 . MIDDLE [countable usually singular] the middle of a space, area, or object, especially the exact middle

in the centre (of something)

There was an enormous oak table in the center of the room.

The hotel is right in the centre of the village.

centre of

Draw a line through the centre of the circle.

lines radiating out from the centre

chocolates with soft centres

2 . BUILDING [countable] a building which is used for a particular purpose or activity

centre for

the European Centre for Nuclear Research

an exhibition at the Community Arts Centre

a conference centre

3 . PLACE OF ACTIVITY [countable] a place where there is a lot of a particular type of business, activity etc

business/commercial/financial etc centre

a major banking centre

It’s not exactly a cultural center like Paris.

centre of/for

The city became a centre for the paper industry.

a center of academic excellence (=a very good place for education)

4 . OF A TOWN [countable] British English the part of a town or city where most of the shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres etc are SYN downtown American English

town/city centre

shops in the town centre

the main route into Leeds city centre

5 . INVOLVEMENT be at the centre of something if a person or thing is at the centre of something that is happening, they are involved in it more than other people or things:

He always seems to be at the centre of things.

be at the centre of a row/dispute/controversy etc

the businessman at the centre of the row over political donations

6 . be the centre of attention to be the person that everyone is giving attention to:

Betty just loves being the centre of attention.

7 . be/take centre stage if something or someone is centre stage, they have an important position and get a lot of attention:

After his father’s death, he was able to rise to power and take centre stage.

8 . POLITICS the centre a ↑ moderate (=middle) position in politics in which you do not support extreme ideas:

The party’s new policies show a swing towards the centre.

left/right of centre

Her political views are slightly left of centre.


a centre-left government

9 . SPORT [countable] a player in sports such as American football and ↑ basketball who plays in or near the middle of the field or playing area:

the Sonics’ six-foot-four-inch center

centre forward/half/back etc (=players in different parts of the middle section of the playing area)

10 . centre of population/urban centre an area where a large number of people live:

Nuclear installations are built well away from the main centres of population.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ types of centre

▪ a shopping centre

They are building a huge new shopping centre just outside the town.

▪ an information centre

For further details contact the Tourist Information Centre.

▪ a visitor centre

The forest has a visitor centre with information and refreshment facilities.

▪ a leisure centre British English (=for sport and other leisure activities)

There's a leisure centre with a swimming pool, a sauna, and a gymnasium.

▪ a sports centre

You could join exercise classes at your local sports centre.

▪ a garden centre British English (=where you can buy plants, trees etc)

The garden centre stocks a wide variety of houseplants.

▪ an arts centre (=for art, music, theatre, film etc)

Shall we go to the concert at the arts centre on Saturday?

▪ an exhibition centre

The exhibition centre has an interesting display of contemporary art.

▪ a research centre

the new research centre at King's College Hospital

▪ a conference centre

Westgate Hotel has sixty bedrooms and a conference centre.

▪ a training centre

He was a new recruit at the police training centre.

▪ a health/medical centre (=where there are several doctors you can see for medical treatment)

The village has a small school and a health centre.

▪ a day centre British English (=where old, sick etc people can go during the day to be looked after)

A new day centre for the over 70s has recently opened.

▪ a community centre (=where people living in an area can go for social events, classes etc)

The church has been converted into a community centre.

▪ an education centre

Many elderly people come to the education centre to learn to use computers.

▪ a job centre (=a place in Britain where jobs are advertised)

I got the job through an advertisement at the job centre.

▪ a youth centre (=where young people can go to meet and take part in activities)

The money will be used to provide a youth centre.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)

■ types of centre

▪ a financial centre

Boston is a leading financial centre.

▪ a business centre

The company has branches worldwide in fifteen major business centres.

▪ a commercial centre

Our city is the biggest commercial centre in the country.

▪ a cultural centre

Paris was then the cultural centre of Europe.

▪ a tourist centre

Our destination was Queenstown, a tourist centre set amid mountains and lakes.

▪ a trading centre

The town was a trading centre for the Romans.

▪ a major centre for/of something

The region has been named as a major centre of international terrorism.

▪ a world centre for/of something

The Asian Pacific Rim is a major world centre of commerce, industry, and economic activity.

▪ an international centre for/of something

Zurich is an international centre of finance.

▪ a national centre for/of something

The gardens are a national centre for botanical research.

III. centre 2 BrE AmE British English , center American English verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : CENTRE/CENTER , ↑ centralization ≠ ↑ decentralization , ↑ centralism , ↑ centrist ; adjective : ↑ central , ↑ centralized ≠ ↑ decentralized , CENTRED/CENTERED , ↑ centrist ; verb : CENTRE/CENTER , ↑ centralize ≠ ↑ decentralize ; adverb : ↑ centrally ]

to move something to a position at the centre of something else:

The title isn’t quite centred on the page, is it?

centre around/round something ( also be centred around/round something British English ) phrasal verb

if your thoughts, activities etc centre around something or are centred around it, it is the main thing that you are concerned with or interested in:

In the 16th century, village life centred around religion.

centre on/upon something ( also be centred on/upon something ) phrasal verb

if your attention centres on something or someone, or is centred on them, you pay more attention to them than anything else:

The debate centred on funding for health services.

Much of their work is centred on local development projects.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.