government by many bureaus, administrators, and petty officials.
the body of officials and administrators, especially of a government or government department.
excessive multiplication of, and concentration of power in, administrative bureaus or administrators.
administration characterized by excessive red tape and routine.
Contemporary Examples

It’s Scandalous to Keep Using Black Boxes in Airplanes Like MH370 Clive Irving April 22, 2014
The Five Best Books on Cuba William O’Connor, Malcolm Jones December 16, 2014
Homophobia in Russia Is Taking a Kafkaesque Turn Jay Michaelson June 8, 2014
Government Has Made America Inept Philip K. Howard May 3, 2014
Patients, Not Government, Can Fix Health Care John Barrasso November 20, 2009

Historical Examples

Government in Republican China Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
England and Germany Emile Joseph Dillon
India for Indians C. R. (Chittaranjan) Das
Socialism John Spargo
Bolshevism John Spargo

noun (pl) -cies
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

That vast net-work of administrative tyranny … that system of bureaucracy, which leaves no free agent in all France, except for the man at Paris who pulls the wires. [J.S. Mill, “Westminster Review” XXVIII, 1837]

bureaucrat, &c. The formation is so barbarous that all attempt at self-respect in pronunciation may perhaps as well be abandoned. [Fowler]

bureaucracy [(byoo-rok-ruh-see)]

Note: Today, the term bureaucracy suggests a lack of initiative, excessive adherence to rules and routine, red tape, inefficiency, or, even more serious, an impersonal force dominating the lives of individuals. (See Big Brother is watching you.)


Read Also:

  • Bureaucrat

    an official of a bureaucracy. an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment. Contemporary Examples The Book That Changed the World Jimmy So October 6, 2011 How Obama’s Latin America Tour Could Help the Economy Mac Margolis March 18, 2011 Weekly Jobless Claims Riddle Semi-Solved Michael Tomasky October 11, 2012 China’s Anthony […]

  • Bureaucratese

    a style of language, used especially by bureaucrats, that is full of circumlocutions, euphemisms, buzzwords, abstractions, etc. Contemporary Examples ‘The Accidental Terrorist’: a California Accountant’s Coup Adam Piore May 1, 2012

  • Bureaucratically

    of, relating to, or characteristic of a bureaucrat or a bureaucracy; arbitrary and routine. Contemporary Examples What’s Missing from the Jerusalem Day Speil Gershom Gorenberg May 20, 2012 How Netanyahu Plays the Settlement Game Michael Omer-Man November 12, 2013 Historical Examples Nursing as Caring Anne Boykin adjective of or relating to bureaucrats; characterized by bureaucracy […]

  • Bureaucratize

    to divide an administrative agency or office into bureaus. to increase the number of government or business bureaus. to cause to become bureaucratic or to resemble a bureaucracy: to bureaucratize a city’s social services. verb (transitive) to administer by or transform into a bureaucracy

Disclaimer: Bureaucracy definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.