poly·​cen·​tric ˌpä-lē-ˈsen-trik How to pronounce polycentric (audio)
: having more than one center (as of development or control): such as
: having several centromeres
polycentric chromosomes
: characterized by polycentrism

Examples of polycentric in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This remarkably narrow perspective fails to acknowledge the multifaceted nature of polycentric intra-city urban growth, which is crucial for the comprehensive prosperity and enhanced amenities of the city and its communities. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 19 Jan. 2024 This system would be based on governments managing competing, polycentric sovereign wealth funds that aim to provide public services at a profit. James Broughel, Forbes, 4 May 2023 By the end of the 1990s, the polycentric and suburban city was regarded as the paradigm of U.S. urbanism. Max Holleran, The New Republic, 26 Oct. 2022 This is akin to a large mutual society and is risk adjusted both by the volume of experienced participants and stakeholders and its polycentric nature. Lawrence Wintermeyer, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 The city should also be what Uber describes as polycentric, basically pockets of dense areas of development spread around a larger metro area. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, 10 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polycentric.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


poly- + -centric; (sense b) after Italian policentrico

Note: The Italian word apparently first came to notice in an interview with Palmiro togliatti published in the journal Nuovi argomenti (May-June, 1956). An English translation of the interview was published in London in the same year as "Problems of the Development of Social Democracy. Questions Posed by the 20th Congress, C.P.S.U."

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polycentric was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near polycentric

Cite this Entry

“Polycentric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polycentric. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


poly·​cen·​tric ˌpäl-i-ˈsen-trik How to pronounce polycentric (audio)
: having several centromeres
polycentric chromosomes
compare monocentric
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!