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

Guardian Paris bureau chief Angelique Chrisafis tweeted on Friday morning. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s role in the French protests has polarized observers," 11 Dec. 2018 Storing location data in violation of a user’s preferences is wrong, said Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau. Ryan Nakashima, The Seattle Times, "Google tracks your movements, like it or not," 13 Aug. 2018 Currently, electronic gambling devices in Cook County are taxed $1,000 per machine and $200 per year per terminal, according to Edward Nelson, a spokesman for the county’s finance bureau. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas," 6 June 2018 Hepburn plays a princess in town for a goodwill tour; Peck a journalist for an American news bureau who misses his big interview with HRH. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 45 Best Travel Films of All Time," 11 May 2018 The police department will use the additional office space for roll call rooms and for the investigation bureau. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brown Deer to break ground on $7.5 million public works building, plus other improvements," 25 Apr. 2018 The two-lane road is a major route from Howard County to the Catonsville area, according to Kris Jagarapu, deputy chief for the county’s bureau of highways. Kate Magill, Columbia Flier, "Fatal crash illuminates traffic worries along Ellicott City thoroughfare," 25 Apr. 2018 Bulger’s decades-long relationship with the FBI is controversial and embarrassing for the bureau. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "What Happened to Alan Dershowitz?," 23 Apr. 2018 On August 29, 2017, the day before the pair were to travel to the western city of Bonn, where the national headquarters for the country's emergency management bureau is located, the woman slept on his couch in preparation for the next day's journey. Elizabeth Schumacher, USA TODAY, "German student admits killing classmate who rejected him," 17 Apr. 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

22 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bureau

The first known use of bureau was in 1698

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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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to boil down or concentrate

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