tech·no·crat | \ˈtek-nə-ˌkrat \

Definition of technocrat 

1 : an adherent of technocracy

2 : a technical expert especially : one exercising managerial authority

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Did You Know?

In 1919 W. H. Smyth coined the term technocracy to mean basically "management of society by technical experts". Technocracy grew into a movement during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when politicians and financial institutions were being blamed for the economic disaster, and fans of technocracy claimed that letting technical experts manage the country would be a great improvement. (They also suggested that dollars could be replaced by "energy certificates" representing energy units called ergs.) Today technocrat and technocratic are still popular words for experts with a highly rational and scientific approach to public policy issues. But these experts aren't always the best politicians, and when a terrific technological solution to a problem is opposed by a powerful group or industry, lawmakers find it easier to just ignore it.

Examples of technocrat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The president’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, picked a technocrat, José Antonio Meade, as its candidate because he was untainted by scandal. Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times, "As Mexico Election Nears, Call for Change Finds Wider Audience," 26 June 2018 The president had originally planned to put a former IMF economist, Carlo Cottarelli, at the head of a government of technocrats, tasked with steering the country back to the polls after the summer. The Economist, "Italy’s bond yields rise as it heads for another election," 29 May 2018 Politicians thus become more likely to appoint inflation-fighting technocrats, who anchor inflation with fiscal austerity and tight credit, to their economic teams. Stephen Kaplan, Washington Post, "Will Sunday’s elections bring economic relief and reform to Venezuela?," 17 May 2018 Both Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini had sought the position of premier, and their parties had been critical in the past of a common Italian practice: Handing power to unelected technocrats after backroom deals. Stefano Pitrelli And Chico Harlan,, "A political novice is on the verge of becoming Italy's prime minister," 21 May 2018 The pedagogical divide mirrors a political one between conservative statists and liberal technocrats. The Economist, "Reformists and traditionalists are at war over Russian schools," 26 May 2018 It’s hard to watch him and not think of any number of Silicon Valley’s mononymous technocrats: Travis, Brian, Elon. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Has an Eerily Familiar Villain," 10 July 2018 In recent decades, Mexico has been led by technocrats and pro-American politicians, while López Obrador's role models are Mexican independence and revolutionary leaders who stood up to more powerful foreign countries. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, "Andrés Manuel López Obrador wins Mexican presidential race," 2 July 2018 And even when legal arguments from colleagues cannot persuade justices, sometimes public pressure can, though the justices would never admit it.) Breyer has always had the voice of a technocrat. David Fontana, Vox, "Justice Sotomayor is poised to lead the minority wing of the Supreme Court," 6 July 2018

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

1932, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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The first known use of technocrat was in 1932

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English Language Learners Definition of technocrat

: a scientist or technical expert who has a lot of power in politics or industry

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