[pol-ee-sen-triz-uh m]
  1. the doctrine that a plurality of independent centers of leadership, power, or ideology may exist within a single political system, especially Communism.
  2. the fact of having many centers of authority or importance: the polycentrism of American intellectual life.

Origin of polycentrism

First recorded in 1955–60; polycentr(ic) + -ism
Related formspol·y·cen·tric, adjectivepol·y·cen·trist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for polycentrism


  1. (formerly) the fact, principle, or advocacy of the existence of more than one guiding or predominant ideological or political centre in a political system, alliance, etc, in the Communist world
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