bean counter


Definition of bean counter

usually disparaging
: a person involved in corporate or government financial decisions and especially one reluctant to spend money

Examples of bean counter in a Sentence

He blames corporate bean counters for causing thousands of workers to lose their jobs.

Recent Examples on the Web

That trial and error makes Carl a bean counter in addition to scientist. Marc Bona,, "Feisty Brood Meadery growing in Northfield," 3 June 2019 Connecticut’s bean counters are forecasting a $2 billion budget deficit next year. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Connecticut Voters Wonder Who’ll Stop the Rain," 5 Oct. 2018 That’s especially true in years when April tax revenues roll in below expectations, causing bean counters to scramble to realign priorities. Joshua Miller And Matt Stout,, "Mass. Legislature could strengthen Charlie Baker’s hand with budget delay," 12 July 2018 Nevertheless, Thiele found ways around the bean counters. Marc Myers, WSJ, "‘Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album’ Review: Sitting in the Studio With Coltrane," 18 June 2018 And medicine, like any other profession, has its charlatans and jerks, and is certainly being perverted by the bean counters. Judith Shulevitz, New York Times, "Is Our Obsession With Wellness Doing Us In?," 11 June 2018 Virtually, the only people who cared were the bean counters, the stat keepers and the bookmakers. Ed Barkowitz,, "Odubel Herrera's on-base streak for Phillies: Some historical perspective," 18 May 2018 Sorrento is an autocratic bean counter, a would-be master of the universe who doesn’t even like video games. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Ready Player One,’ Spielberg Plays the Nostalgia Game," 28 Mar. 2018 The state’s bean counters, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, recommended that the state not spend all the surplus, because lean months could be coming before the end of the fiscal year in June. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Teacher salaries: What we know about how Gov. Doug Ducey will pay for a 20 percent raise," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bean counter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bean counter

1971, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bean counter

Statistics for bean counter

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bean counter

The first known use of bean counter was in 1971

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bean counter

bean counter


English Language Learners Definition of bean counter

informal + disapproving : a person who helps to run a business and who only cares about money

More from Merriam-Webster on bean counter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bean counter

Comments on bean counter

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


standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!