bu·reau·crat·ic | \ˌbyu̇r-ə-ˈkra-tik, ˌbyər-\

Definition of bureaucratic 

: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a bureaucracy or a bureaucrat bureaucratic government a bureaucratic organization bureaucratic procedures

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bureaucratic

bureaucratically \-ti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Examples of bureaucratic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Báez’s story — one of personal tragedy, made worse by a lack of opportunities and bureaucratic red tape — has become the human face of the Puerto Rican influx after Hurricane María. Bianca Padró Ocasio, OrlandoSentinel.com, "These Puerto Ricans who fled Hurricane María's destruction built a community at a Super 8 in Kissimmee. Now, they have to leave it.," 27 June 2018 Passport applicants have to go through a series of time-consuming bureaucratic steps. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "These Haitian kids need surgery in another country. Getting a passport is the hard part," 22 June 2018 Expect Republicans to stick to their talking points on bureaucratic red tape and pocketbook issues that tend to resonate with voters. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "Five Key Takeaways From The First GOP Gubernatorial Primary Debate," 12 June 2018 Anthony Bourdain’s body is stuck in bureaucratic red tape in France, leaving funeral plans for him temporarily on hold, the celebrity chef’s mom told The Post on Sunday. Fox News, "Anthony Bourdain's mother says his body is stuck in France," 10 June 2018 While knocking on doors, Kende says people tell him bureaucratic red tape discourages residents from opening businesses in the city. Gustavo Solis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Economic growth is at the center of Chula Vista mayoral race," 23 May 2018 Universities like Chicago should enroll students from a variety of backgrounds—even if the academic-bureaucratic conception of diversity now in vogue is stilted and narrow. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The War on Admissions Testing," 1 July 2018 The acquisition helps Amazon overcome the bureaucratic hurdle of securing pharmacy licenses, since PillPack is already licensed to ship prescriptions in 50 states. The purchase is expected to close in the second half of 2018. New York Times, "The Week in Tech: Amazon Continues Its Quest for World Domination," 29 June 2018 Despite a string of seemingly insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles, the search by Searle and a team of dedicated advocates succeeded, culminating in a first meeting between Searle and her son, Robert Cummings, on May 29. Harold Brubaker, Philly.com, "Overcoming 'a bureaucratic demolition of human rights,' an intellectually disabled woman finds son taken at birth," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bureaucratic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bureaucratic

1800, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bureaucratic

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bureaucratic

Share bureaucratic

Statistics for bureaucratic

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bureaucratic

The first known use of bureaucratic was in 1800

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bureaucratic



English Language Learners Definition of bureaucratic

: using or connected with many complicated rules and ways of doing things : of, relating to, or like a bureaucracy or bureaucrat

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bureaucratic

What made you want to look up bureaucratic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!