[ sen-truh-lahyz ]
/ ˈsɛn trəˌlaɪz /

verb (used with object), cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing.

to draw to or gather about a center.
to bring under one control, especially in government: to centralize budgeting in one agency.

verb (used without object), cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing.

to come together at or to form a center.

Nearby words

  1. centralism,
  2. centralist,
  3. centralistic,
  4. centrality,
  5. centralization,
  6. centrally,
  7. centre,
  8. centre bit,
  9. centre forward,
  10. centre half

Also especially British, cen·tral·ise.

Origin of centralize

First recorded in 1790–1800; central1 + -ize

Related formscen·tral·iz·er, nouno·ver·cen·tral·ize, verb, o·ver·cen·tral·ized, o·ver·cen·tral·iz·ing.re·cen·tral·ize, verb, re·cen·tral·ized, re·cen·tral·iz·ing.un·cen·tral·ized, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for centralise

  • Thanks to the brassardiers, the tide of prisoners swelled so that it became necessary to centralise the carnage.

  • Then he might centralise great national questions, leaving a great deal of local government in local questions.

    Eugenics and Other Evils|G. K. Chesterton

British Dictionary definitions for centralise



/ (ˈsɛntrəˌlaɪz) /


to draw or move (something) to or towards a centre
to bring or come under central control, esp governmental control
Derived Formscentralization or centralisation, nouncentralizer or centraliser, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for centralise



1795, "to bring to a center;" 1800, "come to a center," from central + -ize, on model of French centraliser (1790). A word from the French Revolution. Related: Centralized; centralizing.

Government should have a central point throughout its whole periphery. The state of the monthly expences amounted to four hundred millions; but within these seven months, it is reduced to one hundred and eighty millions. Such is the effect of the centralization of government; and the more we centralize it, the more we shall find our expenses decrease. [Saint-Just, "Discourse on the State of the Finances"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper