Center around or center on

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To center on something or center around something is to focus on it or for that something to be an integral part of the process. Technically one can’t center around since the center is a specific point; however, this is an idiom and anything goes with idioms.

Outside the United States the phrases centre around or centre on are listed as interchangeable in dictionaries. Note the spelling change, however.

Both inside and outside the US center on is the more popular phrase. This possibly could be because others feel the idiom is grammatically incorrect. If your writing is extremely formal, or if you know you’ll have dissenters in your audience, you could use revolve around instead of center around.


Subjects are sometimes silly, but most often they center on more meaningful issues. [The Daily Iberian]

Political commentary seems to be centering on a coalition government between Labour and the Scottish National Party (SNP) as the most likely outcome. [Yahoo Finance UK]

The group’s criminal activity centered around the Sellin Style car dealership near Sequim, said acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. [Peninsula Daily News]

The case by Mr Quinn’s wife Patricia and five adult children is against Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, and its liquidator Kieran Wallace and centres on the family’s claim they are entitled to deny liability in relation to their guarantees and security for the loans because of statutory and regulatory breaches by IBRC’s predecessor, Anglo Irish Bank. [The Irish Times]

For the Indonesian projects, concerns centre around continuing delays in projects, and so a decision to start engineering design work on Lengo, expected in the December half, and a final investment decision for AAL, targeted for 2016, should remove some risk, Citi said. [AFR Weekend]