Science Dictionary
centripetal   (sěn-trĭp'ĭ-tl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Moving or directed toward a center or axis, particularly one around which an object is spinning.

  2. Transmitting nerve impulses toward the brain or spinal cord; afferent.

  3. Developing or progressing inward toward a center or axis, as in the growth of plant structures. For example, in the disk of the inflorescence of a sunflower, the florets near the edge open first, and the ones in the center last. Compare centrifugal.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: centriole
Next Definition: centripetal force
Words Near: centripetal
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for centripetal
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing centripetal
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature