Situated at, in, or near the center: the central states. Forming the center. Having dominant or controlling power or influence: the company's central office. Of basic importance; essential or principal: "Performance, including technological invention and artistic creation, will become central to education at all levels\u201d ( Frederick Turner). Easily reached from various points: a central location for the new store. Of or constituting a single source controlling all components of a system: central air conditioning. Anatomy Of, relating to, or originating from the nervous system. Anatomy Relating to a centrum. Linguistics Articulated in the middle of the oral cavity; neither front nor back. Used of vowels, as the u in cut. Holding to a moderate ideological position between two extremes. A telephone exchange. An operator at a telephone exchange. An office or agency at the center of a group of related activities that serves to control and coordinate them: traffic central.