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 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.
The cardinal’s sidelining could significantly hamper that ambitious reform effort, which has drawn significant hostility from elements of the Vatican bureaucracy.
The nursing home lobby opposes managed care, saying the plans do not save money but instead add an inefficient layer of bureaucracy.
Over the past five decades, Israel, citing security needs, has established a military bureaucracy in the West Bank that enforces movement restrictions on Palestinians through a complex permit system.
Privatization opponents—while disagreeing on the political and financial details of the effort—do agree that government bureaucracy is largely the reason that cutting-edge technology is not already in use by air traffic controllers and pilots.
CARB is not, by anyone’s account, a nimble bureaucracy.
Haley is the first U.S. United Nations ambassador to address the council, and her address is part of a Trump administration campaign to demand reform to what Haley has called hidebound and biased U.N. bureaucracies.
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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