bu·​reau·​crat·​ese | \ ˌbyu̇r-ə-(ˌ)kra-ˈtēz How to pronounce bureaucratese (audio) , -ˈtēs, ˌbyər- \

Definition of bureaucratese

: a style of language held to be characteristic of bureaucrats and marked by abstractions, jargon, euphemisms, and circumlocutions

Examples of bureaucratese in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most striking aspect of Putin’s failure to accept responsibility for the Kursk disaster was his retreat into bureaucratese. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Coronavirus and the Kursk Submarine Disaster," 18 Mar. 2020 Viewers in the late Soviet era had become accustomed to a heavy lexicon of bureaucratese and boosterism that verged on the absurd. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "The Kremlin’s Creative Director," 9 Dec. 2019 As reporter Alfonso Chardy noted at the time, the facility’s mental health treatment center—known in placid bureaucratese as the Krome Transitional Unit (KTU)—had never before been shown to the media. Ken Silverstein, The New Republic, "Shock Corridor," 19 Aug. 2019 In that sense, the beige tone of Mr. Mueller’s report — that desiccating bureaucratese denying the events their juice and soundbite-ability — is something of a radical act in this day and age. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Investigation’ Makes the Mueller Report a Dark-Comic Indictment," 25 June 2019 Graff, a magazine journalist, delights in describing these hideaways (whose existence was first revealed in the 1990s) and the plans for using them; as a result, his narrative sometimes gets bogged down in elaborate, acronym-laden bureaucratese. Justin Vogt, New York Times, "How Washington Planned for a Cold-War Apocalypse," 16 June 2017

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

1942, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bureaucratese was in 1942

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Cite this Entry

“Bureaucratese.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bureaucratese. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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