# Center vs. Middle: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 3, 2023
Center refers to the point equally distant from the outer limits; Middle refers to the point equidistant between the ends or sides.

## Key Differences

The term “center” typically refers to the exact point in space that is equidistant from the boundaries or outer limits of an object or space. It is often used to denote a focal point or a point of balance. The term “middle,” however, generally refers to the area or point that is equidistant from the ends or sides, commonly used to describe a position within a sequence or arrangement, highlighting its adaptability to linear configurations.
In geometric terms, the center is seen as the precise point that maintains an equal distance from all outer edges of a shape. It acts as a symmetrical axis, rendering it pivotal in maintaining equilibrium. The middle, in contrast, is less exact, usually describing a general area within a range or sequence, emphasizing its applicability to both spatial and sequential contexts.
When considering spatial arrangements, the center is perceived as the core, the nucleus around which elements revolve, providing a sense of balance and stability. The middle, conversely, is more about relative positioning within a sequence or a range, and its usage is more versatile, applying to spatial, temporal, and abstract scenarios.
Reflecting on their applicative range, the center often denotes a hub or a main point, especially in contexts like cities or organizations, symbolizing prominence and significance. The middle, on the other hand, is broad, adaptable to various contexts, such as denoting average in statistical terms or representing a transitional phase in temporal sequences.
In summary, the center is more about precision, balance, and focus, and it holds a sense of significance and prominence. The middle is more versatile and adaptable, representing relative positioning in various contexts, highlighting its broad and inclusive nature.
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## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Point equally distant from the outer limits.
Point equidistant between the ends or sides.

### Applicability

More specific to spatial and symmetrical contexts.
Versatile, applies to spatial, sequential, and abstract contexts.

### Precision

Denotes a precise point of balance or focus.
More general, describing an area or a range.

### Symbolism

Symbolizes prominence, significance, and balance.
Represents average, transition, or relative positioning.

### Context

Used in spatial arrangements and as a hub or main point.
Broadly used in various contexts and arrangements.
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## Center and Middle Definitions

#### Center

A place or group forming the chief point of focus or activity.
The city center was bustling with activity.

#### Middle

A middle point in rank, degree, or a scale.
The middle class plays a crucial role in economic development.

#### Center

A source of influence or action.
The company is a center of innovation.

#### Middle

The interior or central part of something.
Place the stuffing in the middle of the turkey.

#### Center

The middle point of a horizontal line.
Mark the center of the plank before cutting it.

#### Middle

A position within a group, sequence, or arrangement.
The novel started to get interesting around the middle.

#### Center

The point of balance or focus in a discussion or debate.
The topic remained the center of the discussion.

#### Middle

Equally distant from extremes or limits; central
The middle point on a line.

#### Center

A point or place that is equally distant from the sides or outer boundaries of something; the middle
The center of a stage.

#### Middle

Being at neither one extreme nor the other, as of a sequence or scale; intermediate
The middle decades of the century.

#### Center

A point equidistant from the vertices of a regular polygon.

#### Middle

Of or relating to a division of geologic time between an earlier and a later division
The Middle Paleozoic.

#### Center

A point equidistant from all points on the circumference of a circle or on the surface of a sphere.

#### Middle

Of or relating to a stage in the development of a language or literature between earlier and later stages
Middle Swedish.

#### Center

A point around which something rotates or revolves
The sun is the center of our solar system.

#### Middle

(Grammar) Of, relating to, or being a verb form or voice in which the subject both performs and is affected by the action specified.

#### Center

A part of an object that is surrounded by the rest; a core
Chocolates with soft centers.

#### Middle

An area or a point equidistant between extremes; a center
The middle of a circle.

#### Center

A place where a particular activity or service is concentrated
A medical center.

#### Middle

Something intermediate between extremes
The middle of the story.

#### Center

A point of origin, as of influence, ideas, or actions
A center of power.
A center of unrest.

#### Middle

The middle part of the human body; the waist.

#### Center

An area of dense population
A metropolitan center.

#### Middle

(Logic) A middle term.

#### Center

A person or thing that is the chief object of attention, interest, activity, or emotion.

#### Middle

The middle voice.

#### Center

A person, object, or group occupying a middle position.

#### Middle

A verb form in the middle voice.

#### Center

Often Center A political group or a set of policies representing a moderate view between those of the right and the left.

#### Middle

To place in the middle.

#### Center

(Physiology) A group of neurons in the central nervous system that control a particular function
The vasomotor center.

#### Middle

(Nautical) To fold in the middle
Middle the sail.

#### Center

(Sports) A player who holds a middle position on the field, court, or forward line in some team sports, such as hockey and basketball.

#### Middle

A centre, midpoint.
The middle of a circle is the point which has the same distance to every point of circle.

#### Center

(Football) An offensive lineman who snaps the ball to begin a play, usually positioned in the middle of the line.

#### Middle

The part between the beginning and the end.
I woke up in the middle of the night.
In the middle of the marathon, David collapsed from fatigue.

#### Center

(Baseball) Center field.

#### Middle

(cricket) The middle stump.

#### Center

A small conical hole made in a piece of work with a center punch so that a drill can be accurately positioned within it.

#### Middle

The central part of a human body; the waist.

#### Center

A bar with a conical point used to support work, as during turning on a lathe.

#### Middle

(grammar) The middle voice.

A centering.

#### Middle

Located in the middle; in between.
The middle point
Middle name, Middle English, Middle Ages

#### Center

A point in space equidistant from all the points on an arch or on a portion of an arch.

Central.

#### Center

To place in or at the center
Centered the vase on the table.

#### Middle

(grammar) Pertaining to the middle voice.

#### Center

To direct toward a center or central point; concentrate or focus
Tried to center the discussion on the main issues.

#### Middle

(obsolete) To take a middle view of.

#### Center

To pass (a ball or puck) toward the center of a playing area.

#### Middle

To double (a rope) into two equal portions; to fold in the middle.

#### Center

To play as a center on (a line), as in ice hockey.

#### Middle

Equally distant from the extreme either of a number of things or of one thing; mean; medial; as, the middle house in a row; a middle rank or station in life; flowers of middle summer; men of middle age.

#### Center

(Football) To hike (the ball) to begin a down.

#### Middle

Intermediate; intervening.
Will, seeking good, finds many middle ends.
The middle-class electorate of Great Britain.

#### Center

To be concentrated; cluster
The epidemic centered in the urban areas.

#### Middle

The point or part equally distant from the extremities or exterior limits, as of a line, a surface, or a solid; an intervening point or part in space, time, or order of series; the midst; central portion
In this, as in most questions of state, there is a middle.

#### Center

To have a central theme or concern; be focused
Her novels center on the problems of adolescence.

#### Middle

An area that is approximately central within some larger region;
It is in the center of town
They ran forward into the heart of the struggle
They were in the eye of the storm

#### Center

(Sports) To play as a center.

#### Middle

An intermediate part or section;
A whole is that which has beginning, middle, and end
We have given it at the end of the section since it involves the calculus
Start at the beginning and go on until you come to the end

#### Center

The point in the interior of a circle that is equidistant from all points on the circumference.

#### Middle

The middle area of the human torso (usually in front);
Young American women believe that a bare midriff is fashionable

#### Center

The point in the interior of a sphere that is equidistant from all points on the circumference.

#### Middle

Time between the beginning and the end of a temporal period;
The middle of the war
Rain during the middle of April
The end of the year
The ending of warranty period

#### Center

The middle portion of something; the part well away from the edges.

#### Middle

Put in the middle

#### Center

(obsolete) The innermost point of the Earth, or the Earth itself, as the center or foundation of the Universe; the center or foundation of the Universe abstractly.

#### Middle

Being neither at the beginning nor at the end in a series;
Adolescence is an awkward in-between age
In a mediate position
The middle point on a line

#### Center

(geometry) The point on a line that is midway between the ends.

#### Middle

Equally distant from the extremes

#### Center

(geometry) The point in the interior of any figure of any number of dimensions that has as its coordinates the arithmetic mean of the coordinates of all points on the perimeter of the figure (or of all points in the interior for a center of volume).

#### Middle

Of a stage in the development of a language or literature between earlier and later stages;
Middle English is the English language from about 1100 to 1500
Middle Gaelic
Late Greek

#### Center

The subgroup (respectively, subring), denoted Z(G), of those elements of a given group (respectively, ring) G that commute with every element of G.

#### Middle

Between an earlier and a later period of time;
In the middle years
In his middle thirties
Late evening
Late 18th century
A late movie
Took a late flight
Had a late breakfast

#### Center

A place, especially a building or complex, set aside for some specified function or activity.
Shopping center, convention center, civic center, garment center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Rockefeller Center

#### Middle

The point or part at an equal distance from the ends or extremities.
Meet me in the middle of the bridge.

#### Center

(politics) The ensemble of moderate or centrist political parties.

#### Middle

The period between the beginning and the end.
He left in the middle of the meeting.

#### Center

The venue in which the head of government in a centralized state is situated.

#### Center

A topic that is particularly important in a given context, the element in a subject of cognition, volition or discussion that is perceived as decisive.
The center of the controversy
The center of attention

#### Center

(sports) A player in the middle of a playing area.

#### Center

(basketball) The player, generally the tallest, who plays closest to the basket.

#### Center

(ice hockey) The forward that generally plays between the left wing and right wing and usually takes the faceoffs.

#### Center

The person who holds the ball at the beginning of each play.

#### Center

(netball) A player who can go all over the court, except the shooting circles.

#### Center

(soccer) A pass played into the centre of the pitch.

#### Center

(rugby) One of the backs operating in a central area of the pitch, either the inside centre or outside centre.

#### Center

A certain mechanical implement functioning in the middle of a whole apparatus

#### Center

(architecture) A temporary structure upon which the materials of a vault or arch are supported in position until the work becomes self-supporting.

#### Center

(engineering) One of the two conical steel pins in a lathe, etc., upon which the work is held, and about which it revolves.

#### Center

(engineering) A conical recess or indentation in the end of a shaft or other work, to receive the point of a center, on which the work can turn, as in a lathe.

#### Center

The ring in the gambling game two-up in which the spinner operates.

#### Center

Of, at, or related to a center.

#### Center

(transitive) To cause (an object) to occupy the center of an area.
He centered the heading of the document.

#### Center

(transitive) To cause (some attribute, such as a mood or voltage) to be adjusted to a value which is midway between the extremes.

#### Center

(transitive) To give (something) a central basis.

#### Center

(intransitive) To concentrate on (something), to pay close attention to (something).
The plot centers on the life of a working-class family.
The discussion centered around the recent issues.

#### Center

(engineering) To form a recess or indentation for the reception of a center.

#### Center

A point equally distant from the extremities of a line, figure, or body, or from all parts of the circumference of a circle; the middle point or place.

#### Center

The middle or central portion of anything.

#### Center

A principal or important point of concentration; the nucleus around which things are gathered or to which they tend; an object of attention, action, or force; as, a center of attaction.

The earth.

#### Center

Those members of a legislative assembly (as in France) who support the existing government. They sit in the middle of the legislative chamber, opposite the presiding officer, between the conservatives or monarchists, who sit on the right of the speaker, and the radicals or advanced republicans who occupy the seats on his left, See Right, and Left.

#### Center

A temporary structure upon which the materials of a vault or arch are supported in position until the work becomes self-supporting.

#### Center

One of the two conical steel pins, in a lathe, etc., upon which the work is held, and about which it revolves.

#### Center

To be placed in a center; to be central.

#### Center

To be collected to a point; to be concentrated; to rest on, or gather about, as a center.
Where there is no visible truth wherein to center, error is as wide as men's fancies.
Our hopes must center in ourselves alone.

#### Center

To place or fix in the center or on a central point.

#### Center

To collect to a point; to concentrate.
Thy joys are centered all in me alone.

#### Center

To form a recess or indentation for the reception of a center.

#### Center

An area that is approximately central within some larger region;
It is in the center of town
They ran forward into the heart of the struggle
They were in the eye of the storm

#### Center

The piece of ground in the outfield directly ahead of the catcher;
He hit the ball to deep center

#### Center

A building dedicated to a particular activity;
They were raising money to build a new center for research

#### Center

A point equidistant from the ends of a line or the extremities of a figure

#### Center

The choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience;
The gist of the prosecutor's argument
The heart and soul of the Republican Party
The nub of the story

#### Center

The object upon which interest and attention focuses;
His stories made him the center of the party

#### Center

A cluster of nerve cells governing a specific bodily process;
In most people the speech center is in the left hemisphere

#### Center

The middle of a military or naval formation;
They had to reinforce the center

#### Center

(basketball) the person who plays center on a basketball team

#### Center

(football) the person who plays center on the line of scrimmage and snaps the ball to the quarterback;
The center fumbled the handoff

#### Center

A place where some particular activity is concentrated;
They received messages from several centers

#### Center

Politically moderate persons; centrists

#### Center

(ice hockey) the person who plays center on a hockey team

#### Center

The sweet central portion of a piece of candy that is enclosed in chocolate or some other covering

#### Center

Mercantile establishment consisting of a carefully landscaped complex of shops representing leading merchandisers; usually includes restaurants and a convenient parking area; a modern version of the traditional marketplace;
A good plaza should have a movie house
They spent their weekends at the local malls

#### Center

The position on a hockey team of the player who participates in the face off at the beginning of the game

#### Center

The position of the player on the line of scrimmage who puts the ball in play;
It is a center's responsibility to get the football to the quarterback

#### Center

A position on a basketball team of the player who participates in the center jump to start the game

#### Center

Center upon;
Her entire attention centered on her children
Our day revolved around our work

#### Center

Direct one's attention on something;
Please focus on your studies and not on your hobbies

#### Center

Move into the center;
That vase in the picture is not centered

#### Center

Equally distant from the extremes

#### Center

Of or belonging to the political or intellectual right

#### Center

The point equally distant from the outer limits.
The center of the circle is equally distant from all points on the circumference.

## FAQs

#### Can the middle be an area rather than a point?

Yes, middle can refer to an area or range equidistant from the extremities.

#### Is center more about spatial arrangements?

Yes, center often relates to spatial arrangements and denotes a point of balance or focus.

#### Can middle refer to a period in time?

Yes, middle can refer to a point or period in time equidistant from the beginning and the end.

#### Can center and middle be used interchangeably?

Sometimes, but center is more precise and denotes balance, while middle refers to relative positioning and is more versatile.

#### Is the center always a specific point?

Typically, yes. The center usually refers to a specific and exact point equidistant from the outer limits.

#### Does middle always denote an average or a median?

Not always, middle can also represent relative positioning, a transitional phase, or an interior part.

#### Does center always have to be in the middle?

In symmetrical shapes or balanced scenarios, the center is in the middle, but in irregular or unbalanced situations, it may not be.

#### Is center more significant in terms of symbolism?

Often, center holds symbolic significance, representing prominence, focus, and balance.

#### Is the middle point of a sequence considered the middle?

Yes, the middle point of a sequence or arrangement can be considered the middle.

#### Can center be used in discussions or debates?

Yes, center can refer to the main point of focus or balance in discussions or debates.

#### Can center denote a source of influence?

Yes, center can symbolize a source or a hub of influence, action, or innovation.

#### Can middle be used in culinary contexts?

Yes, middle can describe the interior or central part of something, such as the middle of a cake.

#### Is middle more about relativity and context?

Yes, middle is versatile and often denotes relative positioning in various contexts.

#### Can center refer to a horizontal line?

Yes, center can denote the middle point of a horizontal or linear arrangement.

#### Can middle denote a class or rank?

Yes, middle can denote a position within a rank, class, or degree, such as the middle class.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.