bu·reau | \ˈbyu̇r-(ˌ)ō, ˈbyər-\
plural bureaus also bureaux\-(ˌ)ōz \

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

Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief of U.S.A. Today. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 8, 2018," 8 July 2018 Even Wilde’s supervisor, Ford, a bureau chief, couldn’t easily describe the NICS database to investigators or its purpose during her half-hour interview. Steve Contorno, miamiherald, "New information shows deeper problems with bungled concealed-weapon background checks," 6 July 2018 Bill Harwood has been covering the U.S. space program full-time since 1984, first as Cape Canaveral bureau chief for United Press International and now as a consultant for CBS News. William Harwood, CBS News, "Trump directs Pentagon to create military Space Force," 18 June 2018 Kakaes was the Economist’s bureau chief in Mexico City from 2005 to 2009, and before that covered science and technology for the Economist from London. Konstantin Kakaes, Vox, "NASA’s leader wants to privatize the International Space Station. It’s a remarkably terrible idea.," 8 June 2018 The morning after is grim as Elisabeth Bumiller, the bureau chief, tries to determine how her troops got beat. David Zurawik, baltimoresun.com, "There is no fake news in Showtime's winning 'Fourth Estate'," 25 May 2018 Officers who slow down, collect as much information as possible, use distance and cover and spend time patiently communicating are likely to have a better outcome, said Tom Wilson, a retired patrol bureau chief from a Maryland police agency. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Homeless shelter shooting: Police release videos, investigation reports," 25 May 2018 Rodrigue, the public affairs director for the Louisiana Fire Marshal's Office and former North Shore bureau chief for WWL-TV, has been something of a one-woman wolfpack in Arnaud's tight support group. Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com, "After 15 years of trying, Covington golf pro Michael Arnaud finally wins big," 24 May 2018 That didn’t bother longtime City Hall bureau chief Barbara Taylor. Ben Fong-torres, San Francisco Chronicle, "50 years ago, KCBS went (almost) all news," 23 May 2018

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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Statistics for bureau

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bureau

The first known use of bureau was in 1698

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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 \

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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Comments on bureau

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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