Parkinson's Law


Definition of Parkinson's Law

1 : an observation in office organization: the number of subordinates increases at a fixed rate regardless of the amount of work produced
2 : an observation in office organization: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

First Known Use of Parkinson's Law

1955, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Parkinson's Law

C. Northcote Parkinson †1993 English historian

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Parkinson's Law

Time Traveler for Parkinson's Law

Time Traveler

The first known use of Parkinson's Law was in 1955

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Parkinson's Law

Cite this Entry

“Parkinson's Law.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

Comments on Parkinson's Law

What made you want to look up Parkinson's Law? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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