Definition of decentralize in English:


(also decentralise)


[WITH OBJECT]often as adjective decentralized
  • 1 Transfer (authority) from central to local government:

    ‘Canada has one of the most decentralized governments in the world’
    • ‘But Government sources last night stressed that the aim was to decentralise powers down from Whitehall - not rob local councils of existing powers.’
    • ‘Managements took steps to decentralise budgetary control and devolve the management of the labour process to establishment level.’
    • ‘A breakthrough has been made in the campaign to decentralise local authority services in Mayo and in the drive to make planning ‘more local’ in the county.’
    • ‘Senegal is a moderately decentralized republic dominated by a strong presidency.’
    • ‘As authority is decentralized, local school politics becomes the lever of organizational change at the school site.’
    • ‘In short-term regimes, the need to shift production goals rapidly makes decentralized authority difficult.’
    • ‘‘We should decentralize authority to the provinces, and promote education in the provinces and make sure good schools are established not only in the capital,’ he said.’
    • ‘It will centralise rather than decentralise power.’
    • ‘If there is no way for the man on the spot to make use of this sort of information, which would be available to a central planner, then there may be no advantage in decentralizing decision-making authority.’
    • ‘Such negative state intervention was not possible in the much more decentralized Western Europe.’
    • ‘‘That is exactly why we are giving the NHS the largest funding increases in its history, and much-needed reform to decentralise control and reward those who deliver results for patients,’ he said.’
    • ‘It is essential to decentralize decision authority to the lowest practical level because overcentralization slows down action and leads to inertia.’
    • ‘It would decentralize international authority, allowing states to defend their interests without waiting for the go ahead from one recalcitrant sovereign.’
    • ‘The only way to do that is through a federal system of government that decentralizes power to the regions.’
    • ‘He has more to do to modernise and decentralise Britain's very centralised system of government and to revitalise our local democracy.’
    • ‘The Government has been claiming that it wants more of its departments to decentralise and move out of London.’
    • ‘In May 1860 Cavour promised the Chamber a more decentralized system, and a parliamentary commission was set up.’
    • ‘The State Government and the BMP had set up 30 ward committees in the city in June 2003 to decentralise power at the local level.’
    • ‘While the report recognised that Health Secretary has made some moves to decentralise the running of health care in England, experts claim the Scottish Executive is refusing to loosen its grip on the NHS.’
    1. 1.1 Move departments of (a large organization) away from a single administrative centre to other locations:
      ‘new technology allows companies to decentralize large factories’
      [no object] ‘he argues that giant corporations must decentralize’
      • ‘An administrative shake-up five years ago which decentralised the services of all the Shepherd divisions meant that relatively few people were left in the building to administer group functions.’
      • ‘To execute on so many fronts, he has decentralized the organization and delegated a lot of decision-making.’
      • ‘In some ways, Silicon Valley performs as a large, decentralised organisation.’
      • ‘Any attempt to decentralise organisations inevitably gives rise to problems of control and coordination which in turn lead to demands for greater central control.’
      • ‘We relocated from London to York for my husband's work in 1994, when it first became fashionable for government departments to decentralise their operations.’
      • ‘‘In the coming years, we are likely to see even more changes to working habits as companies move towards a more decentralised and flexible work force,’ he noted.’
      • ‘This was part of the bank's move to decentralise its operations.’
      • ‘As technology evolves and organizations decentralize, people on the front lines have far more independence and responsibility.’
      • ‘"Upward pressure for retail space in prime locations and decentralised shopping malls is particularly evident.’