cen·​tral·​ize | \ˈsen-trə-ˌlīz \
centralized; centralizing

Definition of centralize 

intransitive verb

: to form a center : cluster around a center

transitive verb

1 : to bring to a center : consolidate centralize all the data in one file

2 : to concentrate by placing power and authority in a center or central organization centralized several functions in a single agency

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Other Words from centralize

centralization \ˌsen-​trə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
centralizer \ˈsen-​trə-​ˌlī-​zər \ noun

Examples of centralize in a Sentence

All shipping operations have been centralized at the Miami office. The controversial reforms could be used to further centralize power in the hands of one party.

Recent Examples on the Web

Decades ago, the government decided to centralize street food hawkers to maintain sanitary standards and also to help with the restructuring of the city. Meagan Morrison, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Common Mistakes Travelers Make in Singapore," 1 Mar. 2018 UW-Madison does not have centralized tracking of complaints made at the department or school/college level, but has identified centralized record-keeping as an area of improvement, McGlone said. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW students accuse teachers of sexual harassment in more than half of all campus cases," 29 Jan. 2018 The company keeps overhead low by centralizing legal, technical and human resources costs, then spends money on growing its audience by hiring editorial staff for each of its portfolio companies. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "Bustle Owner Plans to Double Down on Gawker," 17 Sep. 2018 On the one hand, the report speaks to the sheer scope and scale of the crimes committed, and the difficulty — and necessity — of centralizing myriad accounts of abuse, even decades after the fact. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "New Catholic sex abuse allegations show how long justice can take in a 16-year scandal," 24 Aug. 2018 Apple has its HomeKit platform that’s designed to make hardware work together well on the company’s various iOS and macOS products, and Samsung has its own SmartThings hub that centralizes control over smart home gadgets. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Former Alexa smart home chief and Windows Media Center founder joins Control4," 2 Aug. 2018 What’s different: In the United States, where the federal government has centralized control over immigration policy, President Trump has been able to translate the anti-migrant backlash into policy, including by separating families at the border. New York Times, "In U.S. and Europe, Migration Conflict Points to Deeper Political Problems," 29 June 2018 On the other side of the Atlantic, Turkey, Hungary and Poland, still recognizable as democracies, are centralizing power, controlling the media, manipulating the courts and squelching protest. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 The Romans seized Catalonia from native tribes and centralized their regional power in Tarraco, today’s Tarragona, around 220 BCE. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Beyond the Headlines, Catalan Culture Has a Long History of Vibrancy and Staying Power," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'centralize.' 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 centralize

1795, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for centralize

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for centralize

The first known use of centralize was in 1795

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More Definitions for centralize



English Language Learners Definition of centralize

: to bring (things that are in different places) together at a single point or place

: to bring (something) under the control of one authority


cen·​tral·​ize | \ˈsen-trə-ˌlīz \
centralized; centralizing

Kids Definition of centralize

: to bring to a central point or under a single control The school system centralized student records at the main office.

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Comments on centralize

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living or existing for a long time

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