New Latin centrifugus, from centr- + Latin fugere to flee
- Date: circa 1721
- 1 : proceeding or acting in a direction away from a center or axis
- 2 : using or acting by centrifugal force <a centrifugal pump>
- 3 : efferent
- 4 : tending away from centralization : separatist <centrifugal tendencies in modern society>
Centrifugal force (from Latin centrum "center" and fugere "to flee") represents the effects of inertia that arise in connection with rotation and which are experienced as an outward force away from the center of rotation. In Newtonian mechanics, the term centrifugal force is used to refer to one of two distinct concepts: an inertial force (also called a "fictitious" force) observed in a non-inertial reference frame, and a reaction force corresponding to a centripetal force. The term is also sometimes used in Lagrangian mechanics to describe certain terms in the generalized force that depend on the choice of generalized coordinates.