Definition of bureaucracy
Examples of bureaucracy in a Sentence
As Europe slipped deeper into the war, the uranium panel twiddled its thumbs. It was so mired in bureaucracy that by the spring of 1940, it had managed to approve only the $6,000 in research funds earmarked for Fermi and Szilard, so they could purchase uranium and graphite for their fission experiments. —Jennet Conant, Tuxedo Park, 2002
In recent books and articles a small but outspoken chorus of former CIA case officers has portrayed the once proudly swashbuckling agency as a timid, politically correct bureaucracy, overly concerned with being held to account by the press and Capitol Hill. —Evan Thomas, Newsweek, 29 Apr. 2002
Proving that even lumbering federal bureaucracies can move quickly when they have to, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last week took advantage of Congress' extended holiday break to introduce its long-awaited—and, perhaps, long-dreaded—ergonomic standards. —Editor & Publisher, 27 Nov. 1999
She was fed up with all the red tape and bureaucracy.
Both candidates pledge to simplify the state's bloated bureaucracy.
Recent Examples of bureaucracy from the Web
To be fair to advisers, such regulations mean extra bureaucracy.
These businesses — first drawn to Switzerland’s political stability and Zug’s smooth bureaucracy — have found a country open to their unorthodox ideas about currency.
The list was released following a legal challenge by ITIM, the Jewish Life Advocacy Center, an organization that helps Israelis deal with the rabbinate's bureaucracy.
The list was released following a legal challenge by ITIM, the Jewish Life Advocacy Center, an organization that helps Israelis deal with the rabbinate’s bureaucracy.
The steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.
But the slow moving gears of Greek and European bureaucracy mean that some 15,000 Syrians are still waiting to find out their fates.
IBM was a huge company with a legendarily labyrinthine bureaucracy, meaning that projects could sometimes take an inordinately long time to complete.
The cardinal’s sidelining could significantly hamper that ambitious reform effort, which has drawn significant hostility from elements of the Vatican bureaucracy.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bureaucracy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Roots of bureaucracy
Bureaucracy was borrowed from the French bureaucratie, which itself was formed by combining bureau (“desk”) and -cratie (a suffix denoting a kind of government). The English word can refer to an entire body of unelected government officials or to the problematic system (often filled with red tape) that may result from administration by bureaucrats. From its earliest appearances, bureaucracy has carried a distinctly negative connotation. An 1815 London Times article, for example, declares: “. . . it is in this bureaucracy, Gentlemen, that you will find the invisible and mischievous power which thwarts the most noble views, and prevents or weakens the effect of all the salutary reforms which France is incessantly calling for.”
BUREAUCRACY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bureaucracy for English Language Learners
: a large group of people who are involved in running a government but who are not elected
: a system of government or business that has many complicated rules and ways of doing things
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