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 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 The platform would maintain our independence, our state of decentralization. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Bitcoin's Path From Insurgents’ Talisman to Tool of Big Tech," 22 Dec. 2019 But Mastodon has provided a window into just how difficult these problems are to deal with, even with decentralization. New York Times, "Twitter and Facebook Want to Shift Power to Users. Or Do They?," 18 Dec. 2019 Dorsey's tweets hint that Twitter sees decentralization as a way to handle content moderation. Klint Finley, Wired, "Jack Dorsey Wants to Help You Create Your Own Twitter," 11 Dec. 2019 According to this narrative, Rome’s collapse led not to bloody anarchy but to productive decentralization. Fred Bauer, National Review, "The Perils of a Dis-United States," 10 Oct. 2019 The line between centralization and decentralization is often blurry, and deep questions about the flow and aggregation of information in these networks persist. Quanta Magazine, "Smarter Parts Make Collective Systems Too Stubborn," 26 Feb. 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of decentralization was in 1846

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Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decentralization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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Nglish: Translation of decentralization for Spanish Speakers

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