bu·​reau·​crat·​ic ˌbyu̇r-ə-ˈkra-tik How to pronounce bureaucratic (audio)
: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a bureaucracy or a bureaucrat
bureaucratic government
a bureaucratic organization
bureaucratic procedures
bureaucratically adverb

Examples of bureaucratic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Once financing is secured for this project, there are still bureaucratic obstacles to overcome. Ned Kleiner, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2024 In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, when Mckenna Grace’s Phoebe Spengler was sidelined by the Ghostbusters’ longtime bureaucratic nemesis, Walter Peck (William Atherton), the young Ghostbusting hero went on an unexpected journey that quickly introduced her to Lind’s surprise character, Melody. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Apr. 2024 But there were other regrettable incidents in which the culprit may have been simple human error and the ordinary bureaucratic disarray of any sizable public school. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 3 Apr. 2024 If the United States and the CARICOM do not get this next chapter right—and stand by leaders who are credible, are legitimate, and have the bureaucratic experience to put the Haitian state back on track—the cycle of violence and dysfunction will not end. Pierre Esperance, Foreign Affairs, 2 Apr. 2024 The gatherings are heavily scripted bureaucratic events. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 1 Apr. 2024 The attrition rate among firefighters is soaring, with many leaving the profession due to the physical and mental toll of exposure to dangerous conditions and bureaucratic hurdles in obtaining necessary support. Monica Sanders, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Here, jokes about the city’s storied landmarks and its bureaucratic bottlenecks help ground some of the sitcom’s headier themes. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 11 Mar. 2024 In theory, this protects vaccine manufacturers from certain high-risk financial penalties, while also allowing qualified plaintiffs the ability to receive monetary compensation more quickly with fewer bureaucratic and legal hurdles. Paul Hsieh, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


borrowed from French bureaucratique, from bureaucrate bureaucrat or bureaucratie bureaucracy + -ique -ic entry 1

First Known Use

1800, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bureaucratic was in 1800

Dictionary Entries Near bureaucratic

Cite this Entry

“Bureaucratic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bureaucratic. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bu·​reau·​crat·​ic ˌbyu̇r-ə-ˈkrat-ik How to pronounce bureaucratic (audio)
: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a bureaucracy or bureaucrat
bureaucratically adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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