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1640s, 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.
The most important site of what is indicated: Israel claims U.S. is Terror Central/ quickly turned the Odessa into Mob Central/ This is a small town, but if it's cocaine central then it's a pretty tough town (1990s+)