Cen*trif"u*gal (?), a. [L. centrum center + fugere to flee.]


Tending, or causing, to recede from the center.

2. Bot. (a)

Expanding first at the summit, and later at the base, as a flower cluster.


Having the radicle turned toward the sides of the fruit, as some embryos.

Centrifugal force Mech., a force whose direction is from a center.

⇒ When a body moves in a circle with uniform velocity, a force must act on the body to keep it in the circle without change of velocity. The direction of this force is towards the center of the circle. If this force is applied by means of a string to the body, the string will be in a state of tension. To a person holding the other end of the string, this tension will appear to be directed toward the body as if the body had a tendency to move away from the center of the circle which it is describing. Hence this latter force is often called centrifugal force. The force which really acts on the body being directed towards the center of the circle is called centripetal force, and in some popular treatises the centripetal and centrifugal forces are described as opposing and balancing each other. But they are merely the different aspects of the same stress.

Clerk Maxwell.

Centrifugal impression Physiol., an impression (motor) sent from a nerve center outwards to a muscle or muscles by which motion is produced. -- Centrifugal machine, A machine for expelling water or other fluids from moist substances, or for separating liquids of different densities by centrifugal action; a whirling table. -- Centrifugal pump, a machine in which water or other fluid is lifted and discharged through a pipe by the energy imparted by a wheel or blades revolving in a fixed case. Some of the largest and most powerful pumps are of this kind.


© Webster 1913.

Cen*trif"u*gal, n.

A centrifugal machine.


© Webster 1913.

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