English Dictionary

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centrifugal (sɛnˈtrɪfjʊɡəl Pronunciation for centrifugal ; ˈsɛntrɪˌfjuːɡəl Pronunciation for centrifugal



  1. acting, moving, or tending to move away from a centre Compare centripetal
  2. of, concerned with, or operated by centrifugal force   ⇒ centrifugal pump
  3. (botany) (esp of certain inflorescences) developing outwards from a centre
  4. (physiology) another word for efferent


  1. any device that uses centrifugal force for its action
  2. the rotating perforated drum in a centrifuge

Derived Forms

cenˈtrifugally adverb

Word Origin

C18: from New Latin centrifugus, from centri- + Latin fugere to flee


View thesaurus entry
= radiating, diverging, divergent, radial, efferent, diffusive

Example Sentences Including 'centrifugal'

A neighbouring sawmill used a cyclone -a 30ft-high cone that spun dust out of the air by centrifugal force -to rid itself of waste products.
Times, Sunday Times (2001)
In some cases, centrifugal forces are causing the lubricant to ripple.
Globe and Mail (2004)
In the central air-conditioning business, for example, they could be for the manufacturers of chillers using centrifugal technology.
Business Today (1999)
POLITICS Leader of the centrifugal pack John Ibbitson English Canadians have their fingers crossed.
Globe and Mail (2003)
The centrifugal force almost threw them off the road as Janet took the roundabout at the top of The Hill too fast.
Peter Robinson AFTERMATH (2001)
They had to lean against centrifugal force as they rounded a hairpin.
Hilton, John Buxton Moondrop to Murder
This engine has to look modern in about the year 2020. The winning design has two centrifugal compressors in series, with no axial stage.
Gunston, Bill Plane Speaking - a personal view of aviation history
Your most recent correspondent (Q&A, June 3) confuses gyroscopic and centrifugal forces.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
`The moon revolves around the earth and the centrifugal force counteracts the force of gravity.
Ian St James Awards At the Stroke of Twelve


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