What is the difference between centre and center?

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The only difference between centre and center is the spelling of the word! One is used in the USA, the other in all the other English-speaking countries. There is no difference in meaning at all.

  1. Center : used in the USA.
  2. Centre : used in all other varieties of English (including in Canada).

Meaning of centre / center

Noun

  1. The point that is equally distant from all sides of something
  • The centre of the table.
  1. The town or city centre is the geographical or commercial centre or core area of a town or city
  • He works in the centre so it takes him a long time to get to work because of the rush-hour traffic.
  1. The point / axis around which other things rotate or revolve
  • The sun is at the centre of the solar system.
  1. A political party that does not have extreme views
  • A political party that has neither left-wing or right-wing views.
  1. The player who plays in the middle of the team / pitch / court in team games.
  • The centre in Volleyball is a defensive specialist.
  1. The filling in a chocolate, cake, biscuit or pie
  • The creamy centre of a chicken pie is made using lots of butter and double cream.
  1. A point, location, area, person or object that is most important for a specific field, activity, interest, situation or condition
  • Nashville is at the centre of the country music world.
  1. The source of an influence, action or force
  • The politician is at the centre of the controversy.
  1. A place or group of buildings that serve a specific purpose, or provide a place for a specific activity
  • There are yoga lessons in the sports centre every Saturday morning.
  • The newest shopping centre in London is Westfield in White City.

Verb

  1. To place in the middle
  • To centre the text, drag the text box to the middle of the page.
  1. Centre around / centre (something) on

To take place in or round a specific place / area

  • The tourist industry in Portugal is centred mostly around the Algarve.
  1. The focus or basis of something
  • The plot of the film was centred around a family who was trying to build a new life for themselves.
  1. To gather or come together in a specific location
  • The university buildings are centre around the tower.

Centre / Center Collocations

  1. Dead centre / very centre (meaning in the exact centre)
  • I work in the dead centre of the city.
  1. Centre for
  • The University is a centre for scientific research.

Centre / Center Synonyms

(Noun)

  1. Middle

Less formal way of saying centre (when talking about the central point of an object / physical location), and often less precise than centre. Can also be used to talk about time, to talk about the part between the beginning and the end.

  • In the middle of the film / in the middle of the night.
  1. Midpoint

The point in the middle of something.

  • The midpoint of the circle.
  1. Midst

In the middle of / the middle part or point of something. Usually used when talking about a person being in a crowd or group of people.

  • He was in their midst.
  1. Core

The centre of a sphere

  • The core of the earth / of an apple.
  1. Equidistant (adjective)

Something precisely in the middle of 2 other points (formal)

  • The train station is equidistant from the university and the church.
  1. Halfway point

The point that is in the exact middle of 2 other points

  • I’ll meet you at the halfway point between the ice cream shop and the supermarket.
  1. Heart

At the heart of something: in the middle

  • The cathedral is in the heart of the city.

(Verb)

  1. Centralize

To bring everything under one authority / in a single place

  • The company centralised all their computers in one location.

2. Concentrate

To bring everything together

  • The teachers concentrated their efforts to find a solution to the problem of the difficult pupil.

3. Unify

To bring people together under one idea / common goal

  • Local business owners unified against the new changes the government were bringing in.

4. Unite

To bring people together

  • Groups unite to provide healthcare in the city centre. 
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