Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

central - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective central pronunciation in British English /ˈsentrəl/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [only before noun] the central part of a place is the area in the middle of it
    They live in central London.
    some regions of central and eastern Asia
    1. a.
      [only before noun] a central place is in the middle of something
      The hotel’s rooms are built around a central courtyard.
    2. b.
      used for saying that something is in the middle of an area, so it is very convenient for using shops, theatres etc
      My flat is very central.
      a central location: All hotels have been specially selected for their central location.
  2. 2
    a central idea, aspect, system etc is one of the main ones that is used or needed
    He played a central role in the development of US economic policy.
    a central feature: Political life has changed since broadcasting became a central feature of our lives.
    central to: Her work remains central to an understanding of this period of history.
    central in: issues that are central in the lives of women prisoners
    of central importance (=very important): Listening skills are of central importance to a child’s development.
  3. 3
    [only before noun] central control comes from one main organization that usually tells a lot of smaller organizations what they should do
    The system is subject to massive and increasing central control.
    1. b.
      used in the names of organizations
      workers at Conservative Central Office

derived word


 central pronunciation in British English /senˈtrælɪti/ noun [uncountable]


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog