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1.
A political ideology that falls directly in between the left and right political extremes. Centrist ideology stresses practical and realistic solutions without the partisan problems associated with solutions from Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and others. Centrists also believe that the government serves as a means to keep individual liberties in check. Centrists, however, are not a mixture and ideological stances from left and right.
A centrist might say:

"Abortion is a decision between a mother and her doctor, however, abortion should not be available all the time."

or

"To save social security, privatization of a small portion of it via market investment may help. The option to invest a portion of retirement savings should exist for individuals."
by badmagicnumber January 04, 2004
 
2.
CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.
A centrist may say something such as the following: Abortion should be legal, but only in certain situations such as the woman having conceived during rape or not having the financial ability to pay for the baby, as well as others.

"I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.~Evelyn Beatrice Hall
by 6546435486786 March 25, 2008
 
3.
A person who seeks to find a balanced point between ideological extremes.
I am a centrist. I am a vegetarian who doesn't like left-wing liberals and I am married and have kids and live in a small town in a Western state, but I don't like right wing conservatives.
by centrist November 17, 2007