bu·​reau·​crat·​ese ˌbyu̇r-ə-(ˌ)kra-ˈtēz How to pronounce bureaucratese (audio)
: 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 Details of new initiatives were bogged down by mind-numbing bureaucratese. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 11 Apr. 2023 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 16 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bureaucratese.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bureaucratese was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near bureaucratese

Cite this Entry

“Bureaucratese.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bureaucratese. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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