[ dee-sen-truh-lahyz ]
See synonyms for: decentralizedecentralized on

verb (used with object),de·cen·tral·ized, de·cen·tral·iz·ing.
  1. to distribute the administrative powers or functions of (a central authority) over a less concentrated area: to decentralize the national government.

  2. to disperse (something) from an area of concentration: to decentralize the nation's industry.

verb (used without object),de·cen·tral·ized, de·cen·tral·iz·ing.
  1. to undergo decentralization: The city government is looking for ways to decentralize.

Origin of decentralize

First recorded in 1850–55; de- + centralize
  • Also especially British, de·cen·tral·ise .

Other words from decentralize

  • de·cen·tral·ist, noun
  • de·cen·tral·i·za·tion [dee-sen-truh-lahy-zey-shuhn], /diˌsɛn trə laɪˈzeɪ ʃən/, noun

Words Nearby decentralize Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use decentralize in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for decentralize



/ (diːˈsɛntrəˌlaɪz) /

  1. to reorganize (a government, industry, etc) into smaller more autonomous units

  2. to disperse (a concentration, as of industry or population)

Derived forms of decentralize

  • decentralist, noun, adjective
  • decentralization or decentralisation, 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