center of gravity

noun
1.
Mechanics. the point through which the resultant of gravitational forces on a body passes and from which the resultant force of attraction of the body on other bodies emanates: coincident with the center of mass in a uniform gravitational field.
2.
a person, thing, or idea that is the vital or pivotal focus of interest or activity within a larger entity.

Origin:
1650–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
center of gravity   (sěn'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
The center of mass of an object in the presence of a uniform gravitational field.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

center of gravity definition


The point in any solid where a single applied force could support it; the point where the mass of the object is equally balanced. The center of gravity is also called the center of mass. When a man on a ladder leans sideways so far that his center of gravity is no longer over his feet, he begins to fall.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The point is that for some time the center of gravity for achievement has been
  shifting away from the topmost colleges.
The center of gravity is the point at which an airplane would balance if it
  were suspended at that point.
The point of intersection is called the center of gravity.
But to create that center of gravity, it's a function of how the government,
  industry and university system want to play.
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