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[byoo r-uh-krat] /ˈbyʊər əˌkræt/
an official of a bureaucracy.
an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment.
Origin of bureaucrat
From the French word bureaucrate, dating back to 1835-45. See bureau, -crat
Related forms
[byoo r-uh-krat-iz-uh m, byoo-rok-ruh-tiz-] /ˈbyʊər ə krætˌɪz əm, byʊˈrɒk rəˌtɪz-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bureaucrat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Afraid to spit if some Washington bureaucrat wagged a finger.

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • I think that every bureaucrat is an outsider and was always such.

    Virgin Soil Ivan S. Turgenev
  • People are dirty, so the bureaucrat says, let us make them wash.

    Meccania Owen Gregory
  • The bureaucrat was as short in his address as he was in his stature.

    The Confessions of a Collector William Carew Hazlitt
  • The wealthy and the educated know how to placate the bureaucrat and get what they want.

British Dictionary definitions for bureaucrat


an official in a bureaucracy
an official who adheres to bureaucracy, esp rigidly
Derived Forms
bureaucratism (bjʊəˈrɒkrəˌtɪzəm) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bureaucrat

1839, from French bureaucrate (19c.); see bureaucracy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bureaucrat in Culture
bureaucrat [(byoor-uh-krat)]

Someone who works in or controls a bureaucracy. The term is often used negatively to describe a petty, narrow-minded person. (See also conformity and organization man.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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