[byoo r-uh-krat]


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 formsbu·reau·crat·ism [byoo r-uh-krat-iz-uh m, byoo-rok-ruh-tiz-] /ˈbyʊər ə krætˌɪz əm, byʊˈrɒk rəˌtɪz-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for bureaucrat



an official in a bureaucracy
an official who adheres to bureaucracy, esp rigidly
Derived Formsbureaucratism (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

Word Origin and History for bureaucrat

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for bureaucrat



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 (see also organization man).)

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