Definition of Parkinson’s law noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Parkinson’s law

BrE BrE//ˈpɑːkɪnsnz lɔː//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɑːrkɪnsnz lɔː//
[uncountable] (humorous)
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the idea that work will always take as long as the time available for it Word Origin1950s: named after Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909–93), English writer. Culture People often mention Parkinson's law when talking humorously about bureaucracy (= a system of official rules and ways of doing things which seem too complicated). The historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909-1993) first wrote about the idea in his book about the British Civil Service, Parkinson's Law: The Pursuit of Progress (1957).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Parkinson’s law