de·​cen·​tral·​i·​za·​tion | \ (ˌ)dē-ˌsen-trə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce decentralization (audio) \

Definition of decentralization

1 : the dispersion or distribution of functions and powers a decentralization of powers specifically, government : the delegation of power from a central authority to regional and local authorities the decentralization of the state's public school system government decentralization
2 sociology : the redistribution of population and industry from urban centers to outlying areas

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Other Words from decentralization

decentralize \ (ˌ)dē-​ˈsen-​trə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce decentralize (audio) \ verb

Examples of decentralization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Protestant Churches have proved difficult to control, because of their diversity and decentralization, and the party has forcefully removed crosses from the tops of church buildings and even demolished some buildings to set an example. H. R. Mcmaster, The Atlantic, "The United States Needs a New China Strategy," 17 Apr. 2020 Nationally, the decentralization of public health authority and its lack of enforcement authority has resulted in an uncoordinated response and a patchwork of public messaging, perhaps most notably in the South. Keren Landman/undark, Popular Science, "Inside the struggles and successes of one Georgia county’s fight with COVID-19," 10 Apr. 2020 Lake attempted to perform a decentralization technique on Aviles, but Aviles tackled him. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'If I wanted to hurt you, I'd hurt you': A 28-year-old Mukwonago man is accused of injuring sheriff's deputies," 10 Apr. 2020 In the Trump era, however, decentralization has a benefit: the President is not solely in charge, and in the months ahead governors and mayors will continue to shape the odds of life or death for great numbers of Americans. Steve Coll, The New Yorker, "The Meaning of Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Quackery," 29 Mar. 2020 Ukraine agreed to lead the local election and decentralization reforms with the representatives of the occupied parts of the Donbass. NBC News, "Protesters defy lockdown as coronavirus threatens Ukraine-Russia peace push," 21 Feb. 2020 Countless entrepreneurs are working on decentralization projects, including the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. New York Times, "Twitter and Facebook Want to Shift Power to Users. Or Do They?," 18 Dec. 2019 The underlying platform offers a Platonic form of decentralization, the cryptographic guarantee of trusting no one, of shrugging off central authority. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Bitcoin's Path From Insurgents’ Talisman to Tool of Big Tech," 22 Dec. 2019 Republican theory puts a heavy emphasis on political participation by the citizenry, and on the structural decentralization that makes citizen involvement feasible. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "The Green New Deal Meets Green Republicanism," 26 Sep. 2019

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

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for decentralization

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The first known use of decentralization was in 1846

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Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decentralization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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