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 In fact, the whole special pathogens program was always in the crosshairs of government bean counters. Helen Branswell, STAT, "‘Against all odds’: The inside story of how scientists across three continents produced an Ebola vaccine," 7 Jan. 2020 His adversaries call him a shill for health insurers, a bloodless bean counter who would rather let some sick people die than see them get expensive life-saving medicines. Jonathan Saltzman,, "Boston drug-pricing watchdog group is ‘mouse that roared’," 19 June 2019 Many of the news organization’s bean counters saw them as luxuries, said Doug Haddix, executive director of the organization Investigative Reporters & Editors. Washington Post, "Epstein story shows investigative journalism is thriving," 9 July 2019 Perenchio, who passed in 2017 at 86 with a net worth the bean counters at Forbes pegged at around $2.8 billion, was also a prolific property owner in Malibu, particularly in and around the legendary Colony enclave. Variety, The Mercury News, "‘Beverly Hillbillies’ mansion gets super-sized price cut," 26 June 2019 That trial and error makes Carl a bean counter in addition to scientist. Marc Bona,, "Feisty Brood Meadery growing in Northfield," 3 June 2019 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

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.

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First Known Use of bean counter

1971, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bean counter

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The first known use of bean counter was in 1971

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bean counter.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bean counter

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