- a system of administration based upon organization into bureaus, division of labour, a hierarchy of authority, etc: designed to dispose of a large body of work in a routine manner
- government by such a system
- government or other officials collectively
- any administration in which action is impeded by unnecessary official procedures and red tape
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
bu•reauc•ra•cy /byʊˈrɑkrəsi/USA pronunciation n., pl. -cies.WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- Government government by a rigid, complex, and usually large number of bureaus, administrators, and self-important officials:[uncountable]No one wants more bureaucracy.
- Government a body of officials and administrators in this system:[countable]worked hard to make the bureaucracy more effective.
- Government rules, routines, and procedures of such a system:[uncountable]bogged down with the bureaucracy of trying to leave the country.
bu•reauc•ra•cy (byŏŏ rok′rə sē),USA pronunciation n., pl. -cies.
- Governmentgovernment by many bureaus, administrators, and petty officials.
- Governmentthe body of officials and administrators, esp. of a government or government department.
- Governmentexcessive multiplication of, and concentration of power in, administrative bureaus or administrators.
- Governmentadministration characterized by excessive red tape and routine.
- bureau + -cracy, modeled on French bureaucratie 1810–20
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
bureaucracy /bjʊəˈrɒkrəsɪ/ n ( pl -cies)
'bureaucracy' also found in these entries: