Meaning of “central” in the English Dictionary

"central" in British English

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centraladjective

uk /ˈsen.trəl/ us /ˈsen.trəl/

central adjective (NEAR THE MIDDLE)

B1 in, at, from, or near the centre or most important part of something:

central Europe/London
Of course, you pay more for premises with a central location (= in or near the centre of a town).

More examples

  • Some late news has just come in - a bomb has exploded in central London.
  • In many churches the side aisles are separated from the central aisle by a row of arches.
  • The bridge's central support gave way, tipping the coach into the river.
  • The large central diamond is surrounded by eight smaller stones.
  • I love the wide open spaces of central Australia.

central adjective (IMPORTANT)

C2 main or important:

a central role
Community involvement is central to our plan.

More examples

  • I failed to grasp the film's central concept.
  • Eugenics was the central, and most controversial, part of his social philosophy.
  • The central character of the play is a flaky neurotic.
  • The central argument of the book is that some of the plays were not written by Shakespeare.
  • The central character is a malevolent witch out for revenge.

(Definition of “central” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"central" in American English

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centraladjective

us /ˈsen·trəl/

central adjective (NEAR THE MIDDLE)

in, at, from, or near the center:

He grew up in central Illinois.

central adjective (IMPORTANT)

main or important:

American novels often take money as their central concern.

central adjective (CONTROLLED)

(of something having separate parts) controlled from a single place or by a single organization:

(Definition of “central” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"central" in Business English

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centraladjective

uk /ˈsentrəl/ us

main or important:

be central to sth Offshore production is central to the strategies of some of the world's most powerful businesses.
Communication plays a central role in developing trust within an organization.

in or near the centre of something:

You will have to pay more for offices in a central location.
central London

controlled or organized from one place or by one single authority:

central control/government/authority Without a strong central authority, the country faces imminent collapse.

controlling other smaller organizations, departments, etc.:

The company announced the relocation of its central office to a greenfield site outside the capital.
centrally
adverb

centrally located offices

(Definition of “central” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)