cen·​tral·​ism | \ ˈsen-trə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce centralism (audio) \

Definition of centralism

: the concentration of power and control in the central authority of an organization (such as a political or educational system) — compare federalism

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Other Words from centralism

centralist \ ˈsen-​trə-​list How to pronounce centralism (audio) \ noun or adjective
centralistic \ ˌsen-​trə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce centralism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of centralism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many Catalans see the party as the embodiment of Castilian centralism, and feel marginalised by its drive to aggrandise Madrid. The Economist, 2 Nov. 2017 But while the former backs Catalonia's right to a binding vote on independence, the latter is synonymous with unified Spanish centralism. Nick Bailey, NBC News, 7 Oct. 2017 According to historian Robert Service: Lenin’s ideas on violence, dictatorship, terror, centralism, hierarchy and leadership were integral to Stalin’s thinking. James Freeman, WSJ, 8 Aug. 2017 For years, FC Barcelona symbolized Catalan regional pride in the face of Spanish centralism based in Madrid. Diego Von Vacano, NBC News, 19 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'centralism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of centralism

1825, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of centralism was in 1825

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Cite this Entry

“Centralism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centralism. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for centralism



English Language Learners Definition of centralism

: a way of organizing a political or educational system in which a single authority has power and control over the entire system

More from Merriam-Webster on centralism

Britannica English: Translation of centralism for Arabic Speakers


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