Definition of central bank

The monetary authority and major regulatory bank in a country. Its functions include issuing and managing the country's currency, controlling monetary policy and supervising money market operations, managing exchange and gold reserves, acting as lender of last resort to commercial banks, and providing banking services to the government. Central banks are state-controlled but are increasingly being given an independent status to insulate them from partisan politics.

Money Supply: central bank blog
In depth: central banks
Interactive graphic: quantitative easing