[byoo r-uh-krat]
See more synonyms for bureaucrat on Thesaurus.com

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. 2018

Related Words for bureaucrat

administrator, politician, functionary, pencil-pusher

Examples from the Web for bureaucrat

Contemporary Examples of bureaucrat

Historical Examples of bureaucrat

  • 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.


    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


  1. an official in a bureaucracy
  2. 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

bureaucrat in Culture



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.