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

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Other Words from bureaucratic

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

Examples of bureaucratic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The last days of the teacher walkout coincided with candidate filing—a bureaucratic process in which the spirit of democracy is fused with the spirit of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, "The Teachers’ Strike and the Democratic Revival in Oklahoma," 4 June 2017 And such a bureaucratic shuffle could come with a hefty price tag. Verge Staff, The Verge, "What the new Congress means for space, self-driving cars, and regulating Facebook," 7 Nov. 2018 Some states remain hampered by bureaucratic disagreements or regard other needs as more pressing. Jack Gillum And Jeff Kao, Ars Technica, "File-sharing software on state election servers could expose them to intruders," 5 Nov. 2018 This dominance could be compounded by removing bureaucratic obstacles within the Defense Department that slow the deployment of new technologies. Seth Cropsey, WSJ, "How to Win a Cold War With Beijing," 25 Oct. 2018 Scherr does expect some challenges, especially in navigating the VA’s complex bureaucratic system. Fleming Smith, ajc, "UGA’s School of Law opens free legal clinic for veterans," 9 July 2018 The policy to separate families was rescinded last week and caused confusion and chaos as parents sought to find their children in a vast bureaucratic system. Alicia A. Caldwell, WSJ, "What Happens to Families Crossing the Border: The Current Rules," 28 June 2018 Machine guns serve purely as an investment tool for anyone willing to endure the requisite bureaucratic obstacles—an extreme version of requirements gun law advocates seek for more common types of firearms. Polly Mosendz, Bloomberg.com, "How One Man Got Rich Selling Machine Guns," 5 Apr. 2018 Machine guns serve purely as an investment tool for anyone willing to endure the requisite bureaucratic obstacles—an extreme version of requirements gun law advocates seek for more common types of firearms. Fortune, "How Buying and Selling Machine Guns in America Made This Man Rich — Yes, Actual Machine Guns," 5 Apr. 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.

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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

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for bureaucratic

The first known use of bureaucratic was in 1800

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on bureaucratic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bureaucratic

Spanish Central: Translation of bureaucratic

Nglish: Translation of bureaucratic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bureaucratic for Arabic Speakers

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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