Etymology
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central (adj.)

1640s, "pertaining to or being a center," also "being that from which other related things proceed," from French central or directly from Latin centralis "pertaining to a center," from centrum (see center (n.)). Centrally is attested perhaps as early as early 15c., which might imply a usage of central earlier than the attested date.

Slightly older is centric (1580s). As a U.S. colloquial noun for "central telephone exchange," first recorded 1889 (hence, "Hello, Central?"). Central processing unit attested from 1961. Central America is attested from 1826.

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Definitions of central
1
central (adj.)
in or near a center or constituting a center; the inner area;
a central position
central (adj.)
serving as an essential component;
the central cause of the problem
Synonyms: cardinal / fundamental / key / primal
2
central (n.)
a workplace that serves as a telecommunications facility where lines from telephones can be connected together to permit communication;
Synonyms: telephone exchange / exchange
From wordnet.princeton.edu