central


central
central, focal, pivotal are more closely comparable when they mean dominant or most important than when they refer to a literal or material point (as a center, focus, or pivot).
Central applies to what is regarded as the center because more important than all the rest in that everything else of the same kind depends on it or derives from it
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the central virtues . . . courage, honor, faithfulness, veracity, justice— Lippmann

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the central character in a story

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the central policy of a nation

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the central trouble with America is conformity, timorousness, lack of enterprise and audacity— Mencken

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Focal implies usually a center that is a focus (as of interest, concern, or significance) or that becomes the point on which or in which every or all attention, interest, or activity is concentrated
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the focal position of the president as formulator or expositor of the nation's opinion is obvious— Rossiter

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if we are to make some sense out of this galaxy of recorded experience we are in need of some focal ideas about which to organize the material— Kardiner

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The term occurs frequently in the phrase focal point which equals focus
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quite unaccustomed to being a focal point of interest on the part of such highbrows, I made the most of the situation, and was very extravagant in my replies— Sidney Lovett

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Focal may shift its emphasis and attribute such importance to the thing qualified as to suggest that it deserves to be the focus (as of attention or interest)
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Miss Grau's tendency to blur or confuse her own point of view with that of her focal characters— Peden

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the other focal elements in American policy toward Europe— Bundy

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Pivotal implies an importance that equals that of pivot (a fixed pin or axis upon which something turns) and suggests that the item so qualified is one on which some larger issue is wholly dependent and that it is therefore cardinal or vital
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so we return to the president as the pivotal point, the critical element in reaching decisions on foreign policy— Acheson

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something important is about to happen ... a succession of events that will be pivotal in her experience— DeVoto

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the pivotal issue in this controversy

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the presidential election will be decided by the vote in a few pivotal states

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Analogous words: *dominant, paramount, predominant, preponderant: outstanding, salient, signal (see NOTICEABLE): important, significant (see corresponding nouns at IMPORTANCE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • central — central, ale, aux [ sɑ̃tral, o ] adj. et n. • 1377; lat. centralis, de centrum I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui est au centre, qui a rapport au centre. Point central, partie centrale. L Europe, l Asie centrale. Quartier central d une ville. Nef, porte centrale.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Central — is an adjective usually referring to being in the centre.Central may also refer to:Directions and generalised locations* Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa continent, also known as Middle Africa * Central America, a region in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Central — Central, das englische Wort für zentral, bezeichnet Folgendes: Verwaltungseinheiten (Provinzen, Distrikte etc.): Central District (Botsuana) in Botsuana Provinz Central (Kenia) in Kenia Central Region (Ghana) in Ghana Zentralregion (Malawi) in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Central — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Central es un adjetivo que hace referencia a lo que está en el centro. Central también puede referirse a; Contenido 1 Geografía 1.1 Países 1.2 …   Wikipedia Español

  • central — adjetivo 1. Que está en el centro o entre dos extremos: zona central, punto central, América Central. 2. Que es el fundamento o lo más importante o esencial de una cosa: El punto central de la cuestión es el siguiente. No hemos llegado todavía al …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • central — CENTRÁL, Ă, centrali, e, adj., s.f. I. adj. 1. Care se află (aproximativ) în centru, în mijloc; care provine dintr un centru. 2. fig. Care ocupă o poziţie principală, care constituie un nucleu în jurul căruia se grupează elementele secundare. ♦… …   Dicționar Român

  • central — (Del lat. centrālis). 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo al centro. 2. Que está en el centro físico. U. t. en sent. fig.) 3. Dicho de un lugar: Que está entre dos extremos. América Central. 4. Que ejerce su acción sobre todo un campo o territorio.… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • central — UK US /ˈsentrəl/ adjective ► 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. ► …   Financial and business terms

  • Central — Central, AK U.S. Census Designated Place in Alaska Population (2000): 134 Housing Units (2000): 169 Land area (2000): 247.950847 sq. miles (642.189718 sq. km) Water area (2000): 1.496112 sq. miles (3.874913 sq. km) Total area (2000): 249.446959… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • central — central, ale (san tral, tra l ) adj. 1°   Qui est au centre, qui a rapport au centre. Les points centraux. Feu central, feu ou du moins très forte chaleur qui existe au centre de la terre. 2°   Par extension, province centrale, quartier central,… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré


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