What does bureaucracy mean?

Definitions for bureaucracy
byʊˈrɒk rə sibu·reau·cra·cy

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word bureaucracy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bureaucracy, bureaucratism(noun)

    nonelective government officials

  2. bureaucracy(noun)

    a government that is administered primarily by bureaus that are staffed with nonelective officials

  3. bureaucracy(noun)

    any organization in which action is obstructed by insistence on unnecessary procedures and red tape


  1. bureaucracy(Noun)

    Structure and regulations in place to control activity. Usually in large organizations and government operations.

    Etymology: from bureaucratie, coined by Jean Claude Marie Vincent de Gournay (died 1759) from bureau + -cratie

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bureaucracy(noun)

    a system of carrying on the business of government by means of departments or bureaus, each under the control of a chief, in contradiction to a system in which the officers of government have an associated authority and responsibility; also, government conducted on this system

  2. Bureaucracy(noun)

    government officials, collectively


  1. Bureaucracy

    "Bureaucracy" is "a body of nonelective government officials" and/or "an administrative policy-making group." Historically, bureaucracy referred to government administration managed by departments staffed with nonelected officials. In modern parlance, bureaucracy refers to the administrative system governing any large institution. Since being coined, the word "bureaucracy" has developed negative connotations for some. Bureaucracies are criticized for their complexity, their inefficiency, and their inflexibility. The dehumanizing effects of excessive bureaucracy were a major theme in the work of Franz Kafka, and were central to his masterpiece The Trial. The elimination of unnecessary bureaucracy is a key concept in modern managerial theory, and has been a central issue in numerous political campaigns. Others have defended the existence of bureaucracies. The German sociologist Max Weber argued that bureaucracy constitutes the most efficient and rational way in which human activity can be organized, and that systematic processes and organized hierarchies were necessary to maintain order, maximize efficiency and eliminate favoritism. But even Weber saw bureaucracy as a threat to individual freedom, in which the increasing bureaucratization of human life traps individuals in the an "iron cage" of rule-based, rational control.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Bureaucracy

    būrō′kras-i, n. a system of government centralised in graded series of officials, responsible only to their chiefs, and controlling every detail of public and private life.—ns. Bureau′crat, Bureau′cratist, one who advocates government by bureaucracy.—adj. Bureaucrat′ic, relating to or having the nature of a bureaucracy.—adv. Bureaucrat′ically. [Bureau, and Gr. kratein, to govern.]

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'bureaucracy' in Nouns Frequency: #2279

How to pronounce bureaucracy?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say bureaucracy in sign language?

  1. bureaucracy


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bureaucracy in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bureaucracy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of bureaucracy in a Sentence

  1. Christopher Marinello:

    Internal and governmental bureaucracy in Germany is quite out of control, there is an inherent lack of sympathy for the victims of Nazi looting.

  2. Ali Tehrani:

    I quickly realized I didn't have the skill sets to navigate the bureaucracy in Iran.

  3. Alex Nowrasteh:

    It wouldn’t be effective at all. The immigration system in the U.S. suffers from too much bureaucracy and federal oversight as it is, adding a coordinating agency can only make that problem worse.

  4. Franz Kafka:

    Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy

  5. Tony Schiena:

    At that time, they were being sent into mud huts to investigate Taliban murders, decapitations, due to Afghan government bureaucracy, they had not yet been issued any weapons. Here they were, deep in enemy territory, and they had nothing but their own bodies' capabilities to defend themselves.

Images & Illustrations of bureaucracy

  1. bureaucracybureaucracybureaucracybureaucracybureaucracy

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Translations for bureaucracy

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    in or of the month preceding the present one
    • A. ambidextrous
    • B. arbitrary
    • C. ultimo
    • D. omnifarious

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