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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.
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.
be center stage
To be the main focus. I'm not talking about my promotion today because my sister's engagement should be center stage. Her photos will be center stage at the exhibit.
center around (someone or something)
To focus on someone or something. But it's Beth's surprise party, not yours, so all the decorations and games should center around her and her alone. This novel centers around the protagonist's journey to self-discovery.
the center of attention
The main focus of people's interest or attention. This phrase sometimes has a negative connotation when it refers to one who pursues or seems to crave attention. My little sister always has to be the center of attention, so of course her drama overshadowed my birthday party. And in this corner of the room, a gorgeous, three-tiered cake will be the center of attention.
center on (someone or something)
1. To focus on someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "center" and "on." But it's Beth's surprise party, not yours, so all the decorations and games should center on her and her alone. This novel centers on the protagonist's journey to self-discovery.
2. To position something in the center of a space, usually a wall. A noun or pronoun can be used between "center" and "on." That picture just isn't centered on the wall—tilt it a little more to the left.
Exactly in the middle of something. If you're going to hang that painting, make sure you put it dead center—otherwise, it will just look weird. I want you dead center in this picture, so move a little to the left.
left, right, and center
In many different places or to many different people all at once. Primarily heard in UK. Ever since the company started we've had financial issues left, right, and center. The economy has been devastating people left, right, and center in this country.
left, right, and centre
In many different places or to many different people all at once. Ever since the company started we've had financial issues left, right, and centre. The economy has been devastating people left, right, and centre in this country.
take center stage
To be the main focus. I'm not talking about my promotion today because my sister's engagement should take center stage. Her photos took center stage at the exhibit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
left, right, and centreBRITISH or
left and rightAMERICAN
You use left, right, and centre to show that something is happening or being done a lot. They're expecting the state to pay out money left right and centre. The Postal Service has been losing customers left and right.
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.
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.
front and center
In the most prominent position.