1. the act or fact of centralizing; fact of being centralized.
  2. the concentration of administrative power in a central government, authority, etc.
  3. Chiefly Sociology.
    1. a process whereby social groups and institutions become increasingly dependent on a central group or institution.
    2. concentration of control or power in a few individuals.

1801, especially of administrative power, originally with reference to Napoleonic France and on model of French centralisation. See centralize + -ation.

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