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[byoo r-uh-krat-ik] /ˌbyʊər əˈkræt ɪk/
of, relating to, or characteristic of a bureaucrat or a bureaucracy; arbitrary and routine.
Origin of bureaucratic
From the French word bureaucratique, dating back to 1830-40. See bureaucrat, -ic
Related forms
bureaucratically, adverb
antibureaucratic, adjective
nonbureaucratic, adjective
nonbureaucratically, adverb
semibureaucratic, adjective
semibureaucratically, adverb
unbureaucratic, adjective
unbureaucratically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bureaucratic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For the bureaucratic order, whatever it was, had to be obeyed.

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
  • Why, do you consider its better as it is with us, lawlessness and bureaucratic tyranny?

    Smoke Turgenev Ivan Sergeevich
  • In bureaucratic France the colonies since 1854 have been associated with the navy.

  • Persecutions were inaugurated by the bureaucratic Government.

    Chitta Ranjan Sukumar Ranjan Das
  • No step of this kind is easily arranged in bureaucratic France.

    The Book of Susan Lee Wilson Dodd
British Dictionary definitions for bureaucratic


of or relating to bureaucrats; characterized by bureaucracy
Derived Forms
bureaucratically, adverb
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 bureaucratic

1836, from French bureaucratique (19c.); see bureaucracy. Related: Bureaucratically. Bureaucratization is from 1916.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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