center

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center field

1. In baseball, the area of the field beyond second base and in the middle of the outfield. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. He hit the ball into center field—and right into the glove of the outfielder.
2. In baseball, the position of a player who occupies and defends the center of the field. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. My goal is to be fast enough to play center field next year.
3. A position between extremes or in line with what is generally accepted or understood. Often used with "left of" or "right of" (usually referring to political ideology) to indicate a more biased position. The president has been accused by both political parties of wanting to stay in center field on the issue of tax reform. Once I heard John's liberal ideas, I knew his beliefs were left of center field.
See also: center, field

center of attraction

A person, place, or thing that attracts the most attention among others. There were many movie stars at the premiere, but the leading lady was the center of attraction. Temple Bar is definitely the center of attraction in Dublin.
See also: attraction, center, of

center around someone or something

to make someone or something the central point in something; to be based on someone or something. Your salary increases center around your ability to succeed at your job. The success of the picnic centers around the weather next week.
See also: around, center

center of attention

the focus of people's attention; the thing or person who monopolizes people's attention. She had a way of making herself the center of attention wherever she went.
See also: attention, center, of

center on someone or something

to focus on someone or something in particular. Let us center on the basic problem and try to solve it. I want to center on Liz and her contributions to the firm.
See also: center, on

center something on someone or something

to base something on someone or something. Let us center the discussion on Walter. Our whole meeting was centered on the conservation question.
See also: center, on

dead center

at the exact center of something. The arrow hit the target dead center. When you put the flowers on the table, put them dead center.
See also: center, dead

off center

not exactly in the center or middle. The arrow hit the target a little off center. The picture hanging over the chair is a little off center.
See also: center, off

on dead center

 
1. Lit. at the exact center of something. The arrow hit the target on dead center. When you put the flowers on the table, put them on dead center.
2. Fig. exactly correct. Mary is quite observant. Her analysis is on dead center. My estimate wasn't on dead center, but it was very close to the final cost.
See also: center, dead, on

center on somebody/something

also center around somebody/something
to be the person or thing that is most noticed The movie centers on one man's struggle to deal with his father. Much of this region's economy centers around a large oil field.
See also: center, on

the center of attention

someone or something everyone notices Frost was the center of attention in the week before the game.
See also: attention, center, of

take center stage

to be the center of interest Collecting food and clothes for disaster victims has taken center stage in our town. A new line of electric cars took center stage at the automobile show.
See also: center, stage, take

be/take centre stage

  (British) also be/take center stage (American)
to be the most important thing or person at an event or in a situation, or to be the thing or person that people notice most A new range of electric cars will be centre stage at next month's exhibition.
See also: centre, stage

center of attraction, the

Something or someone that attracts the most interest or curiosity. For example, The Ferris wheel is always the center of attraction at our carnival, or Jan is the center of attraction wherever she goes. This expression comes from physics, where since about 1770 it has denoted the point to which bodies tend by gravity or the action of centripetal force.
See also: center, of

front and center

In the most prominent position, as in You couldn't miss John-he was front and center in that presentation. This expression alludes to the best and usually most expensive seats in a theater.
See also: and, center, front

center around

v.
1. To be primarily concerned with something: The plot of this story centers around the life of a cowboy.
2. To make or do something that is primarily concerned with something else: We centered our discussion around the problem of homelessness.
See also: around, center

center on

v.
1. To be concerned primarily with something: This chapter centers on the childhood of one of the characters.
2. To make or do something that is concerned primarily with something else: We centered our analysis on the best pieces of evidence.
3. To place something at the center of some location: We centered the painting on the wall.
See also: center, on

front and center

In the most prominent position.
See also: and, center, front