bu·​reau | \ ˈbyu̇r-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce bureau (audio) , ˈbyər- \
plural bureaus also bureaux\ ˈbyu̇r-​(ˌ)ōz How to pronounce bureau (audio) , ˈbyər-​ \

Definition of bureau

1a British : writing desk especially : one having drawers and a slant top
b : a low chest of drawers for use in a bedroom
2a : a specialized administrative unit especially : a subdivision of an executive department of a government the Federal Bureau of Investigation
b : a branch of a newspaper, newsmagazine, or wire service in an important news center the newspaper's Washington bureau
c : a usually commercial agency that serves as an intermediary especially for exchanging information or coordinating activities credit bureau the local visitor's bureau

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Examples of bureau in a Sentence

the Federal Bureau of Investigation The book is on top of my bureau.
Recent Examples on the Web The new findings contradict those of a senior official’s recent comments explaining that the bureau had no information to indicate the imminence of damage, injuries and death at a pro-Trump protest near the White House. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Report: FBI warned of ‘violence,’ ‘war’ ahead of riots that killed 5 at Capitol," 12 Jan. 2021 The bureau added that those who provided information leading to the arrest and indictment of any individual connected with the attacks could claim an award of up to $1,000. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Senator shares photo of man wanted in connection to death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick," 12 Jan. 2021 When the judge insisted the head of the NYPD’s legal bureau sign an affidavit attesting to that, the calls suddenly turned up. Mike Hayes, ProPublica, "New York City Paid an NBA Star Millions After an NYPD Officer Broke His Leg. The Officer Paid Little Price.," 12 Jan. 2021 The decision allows the bureau to adjust the daily limit based on conditions at the hike. Brady Mccombs, The Arizona Republic, "Federal government triples daily number of hikers allowed at the Wave formation on Utah-AZ border," 12 Jan. 2021 Anyone with information on the case may call the Sheriff’s Office's criminal investigations bureau at (504) 271-8477 or (504) 271-2501. Staff Report, NOLA.com, "In Violet shooting death, St. Bernard deputies arrest three, seek one," 12 Jan. 2021 The bureau on Friday released 40 photos of people accused of breaking into the building and asked for the public's help in identifying them. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, "Photos of US Capitol rioter carrying Pelosi's lectern lead to arrest," 10 Jan. 2021 According to the most recent Census bureau estimates in 2018, 69% of the residents in the zip code are Latino and about 25% are Black. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, "How Fair Park in South Dallas was chosen as mega site for COVID-19 vaccine," 9 Jan. 2021 The agency was designed to be an independent bureau empowered to demand data from Wall Street giants, shed light on opaque financial markets and hold its own against the same regulators who had missed the warning signs before the 2008 crash. Washington Post, "Two Biden aides will recuse on BlackRock issues as past ties pose questions," 2 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bureau.' 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 bureau

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bureau

French, desk, cloth covering for desks, from Old French burel woolen cloth, from Old French *bure, from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth

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Time Traveler for bureau

Time Traveler

The first known use of bureau was in 1698

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Statistics for bureau

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bureau.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bureau. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for bureau


How to pronounce bureau (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bureau

: a government department or part of a government department in the U.S.
: an office of a newspaper, magazine, etc., that is not the main office but is in an important city
: an office or organization that provides services or information to the public


bu·​reau | \ ˈbyu̇r-ō How to pronounce bureau (audio) \

Kids Definition of bureau

1 : a low chest of drawers for use in a bedroom
2 : a division of a government department the Federal Bureau of Investigation
3 : a business office that provides services a travel bureau

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