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[dee-sen-truh-lahyz] /diˈsɛn trəˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), decentralized, decentralizing.
to distribute the administrative powers or functions of (a central authority) over a less concentrated area:
to decentralize the national government.
to disperse (something) from an area of concentration:
to decentralize the nation's industry.
verb (used without object), decentralized, decentralizing.
to undergo decentralization:
The city government is looking for ways to decentralize.
Also, especially British, decentralise.
Origin of decentralize
1850-55; de- + centralize
Related forms
decentralist, noun
decentralization, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decentralized
  • Large-scale composting efforts have generally taken two forms: centralized and decentralized.
  • What's unique about sewer mining, however, is that it's smaller in scale and decentralized.
  • Increasingly, though, countries do seem to be turning to decentralized renewable energy.
  • It can also be decentralized to a high degree and provide distributed power.
  • Wind and solar are wonderful decentralized power generation sources.
  • The first two are decentralized they will lose that complete control over us.
  • We did not emphasize decentralized power systems in the article.
  • And a history of decentralized responsibility and authority.
  • decentralized power, when it can be achieved, is much more efficient.
  • It is a decentralized, built-in, equitable distribution of capital to the people who create the wealth.
British Dictionary definitions for decentralized


to reorganize (a government, industry, etc) into smaller more autonomous units
to disperse (a concentration, as of industry or population)
Derived Forms
decentralist, noun, adjective
decentralization, 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
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Word Origin and History for decentralized



1840 (implied in decentralized), probably a back-formation from decentralization. Related: Decentralizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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