of·​fi·​cial·​ese | \ ə-ˌfi-shə-ˈlēz How to pronounce officialese (audio) , -ˈlēs, ō- \

Definition of officialese

: the characteristic language of official statements : wordy, pompous, or obscure language

Examples of officialese in a Sentence

The documents were full of confusing officialese.
Recent Examples on the Web But the euphemism and officialese have appeared to worsen over the decades. Patrick Blanchfield, The New Republic, "The poisonous contradictions of coptalk," 31 Mar. 2020 Anyone who knows anything about research in the former Soviet archives would recognize the official reception of Sanders in Yaroslavl in 1988 and subsequent contacts as routine and pure officialese. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Innocuous Story of Bernie Sanders’s Trip to Russia," 6 Mar. 2020

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

First Known Use of officialese

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for officialese

official entry 2 + -ese entry 2

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Time Traveler for officialese

Time Traveler

The first known use of officialese was in 1884

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Cite this Entry

“Officialese.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for officialese


How to pronounce officialese (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of officialese

usually disapproving + formal : the language used in official documents that is difficult for most people to understand

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with officialese

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