tech·​no·​crat | \ ˈtek-nə-ˌkrat How to pronounce technocrat (audio) \

Definition of technocrat

1 : an adherent of technocracy
2 : a technical expert especially : one exercising managerial authority

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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 People use the terms gearhead, geek, technocrat, and technophile interchangeably. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2022 More often, however, Hurt has been relegated to playing merely functional technocrat roles, like Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross in a string of MCU movies. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2022 He is often described as a reform-minded technocrat who might have disagreed with Putin’s decision to launch a war on Ukraine. Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2022 His swift action was all the more surprising because Tokayev was widely seen as an urbane technocrat still beholden to Nazarbaev, who hand-picked him as his successor in 2019. Tim Lister, CNN, 8 Jan. 2022 In 2020, Carnegie Moscow Center, a regional think tank focusing on Russian domestic and foreign policy, named Kiriyenko as a political technocrat instrumental in stabilizing and implementing the policies of Putin’s administration. Amiah Taylor, Fortune, 23 Feb. 2022 According to recent polls, Italy's Mario Draghi, a technocrat who has largely deferred to public health authorities, is among the most popular national leaders in the Western world. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 19 Jan. 2022 But Rangina had long admired Ghani, who as minister of finance in the early years of the republic acquired a reputation as a brilliant technocrat, arrogant but personally incorruptible. New York Times, 10 Dec. 2021 Hamdok, an economist who once worked for the United Nations, was hailed early in his tenure as a technocrat who could corral new Western support for the economy. Washington Post, 2 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of technocrat

1932, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for technocrat

techno- + -crat, after technocracy

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The first known use of technocrat was in 1932

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Last Updated

16 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Technocrat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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