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
The current sluggish pace has prompted frequent complaints from construction and financing companies, who say the excessive bureaucracy that surrounds major infrastructure projects can be a costly and sometimes insurmountable hurdle.
The half-Catholic, half-Jewish comedian looks down on organized religion as a bureaucracy and has taken an increasingly dim view on Islam in recent years.
And that's why some top U.S. generals and lawmakers believe Hake's organization has found a promising new way of delivering foreign aid, by avoiding cumbersome bureaucracy or government contracts.
Concern about favoritism is particularly sharp in China, where the courts and bureaucracy are designed to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party.
But leaders must be savvy and selective about when to side step the bureaucracy, as doing so too often can burn out a team.
Trump tapped his son-in-law to head up a new office focused on fixing U.S. bureaucracy through business-world ideas.
Our students need to grow up, in the most political way, by wresting control of the educational process from an administrative bureaucracy that wields way too much authority already.
But in addition to condemning the bureaucracy for its lethargy, the IG also issued a warning to combat units that might try to go behind the bureaucrats’ backs by buying new gear with their own funds.
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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