bu·​reau | \ ˈbyu̇r-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce bureau (audio) , ˈbyər-\
plural bureaus also bureaux\ ˈbyu̇r-​(ˌ)ōz How to pronounce bureaux (audio) , ˈbyər-​ \

Definition of bureau

1a British : writing desk especially : one having drawers and a slant top
b : a low chest of drawers for use in a bedroom
2a : a specialized administrative unit especially : a subdivision of an executive department of a government the Federal Bureau of Investigation
b : a branch of a newspaper, newsmagazine, or wire service in an important news center the newspaper's Washington bureau
c : a usually commercial agency that serves as an intermediary especially for exchanging information or coordinating activities credit bureau the local visitor's bureau

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Examples of bureau in a Sentence

the Federal Bureau of Investigation The book is on top of my bureau.

Recent Examples on the Web

Last year, the Government Accountability Office determined that the bureau’s guidance was technically a rule, a decision that gave Congress authority to use the Congressional Review Act to kill it. New York Times, "House Votes to Dismantle Bias Rule in Auto Lending," 8 May 2018 Meredith, at the time, was based in CBS News's Midwest bureau. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Meredith Vieira's Husband and Kids Have Had to Face Many Uphill Battles Together," 1 May 2019 While most tenant screening data is off-limits to tenants, a few bureaus (including Experian, CoreLogic and First Advantage) allow individuals to request their own files. Grace Ashford, New York Times, "What You Need to Know as a New York Tenant," 20 May 2018 But with the downtown convention center about to undergo a renovation, the proposal for a multi-day event that would put visitors in hotel rooms came at the perfect time, said Doris Sims, who worked with the bureau for 30 years. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Forget LA: Bourbon & Beyond founder wants to make Louisville the nation's rock capital," 13 Apr. 2018 And by the standards of the bureau, he was paid well for his work. Clifford Thompson, WSJ, "‘A Spy in Canaan’ and ‘Bluff City’ Review: Reporter and Informer," 22 Feb. 2019 The only person who apparently lost their job in the reorganization: Enge, who became director of the obscure bureau in 2012. OregonLive.com, "Portland paid $165K severance to bureaucrat fired for budget reasons," 2 May 2018 Ressa, 55, is a Filipina journalist and former CNN bureau chief who in 2012 started online news site Rappler. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year is Jamal Khashoggi and other “Guardians” of the truth," 11 Dec. 2018 Anyone with information about Joshua Sullivan or potential victims is asked to call the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office investigations bureau at 504.364.5300. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Arrested Terrytown man took lewd photos of young girls: JPSO," 4 June 2018

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

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bureau

French, desk, cloth covering for desks, from Old French burel woolen cloth, from Old French *bure, from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth

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Statistics for bureau

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bureau

The first known use of bureau was in 1698

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More Definitions for bureau



English Language Learners Definition of bureau

: a government department or part of a government department in the U.S.
: an office of a newspaper, magazine, etc., that is not the main office but is in an important city
: an office or organization that provides services or information to the public


bu·​reau | \ ˈbyu̇r-ō How to pronounce bureau (audio) \

Kids Definition of bureau

1 : a low chest of drawers for use in a bedroom
2 : a division of a government department the Federal Bureau of Investigation
3 : a business office that provides services a travel bureau

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More from Merriam-Webster on bureau

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bureau

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bureau

Spanish Central: Translation of bureau

Nglish: Translation of bureau for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bureau for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bureau

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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