Definition of bureaucracy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bjʊəˈrɒkrəsi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bjʊˈrɑːkrəsi//
    (pl. bureaucracies)
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  1. 1[uncountable] (often disapproving) the system of official rules and ways of doing things that a government or an organization has, especially when these seem to be too complicated unnecessary/excessive bureaucracy We need to reduce paperwork and bureaucracy in the company.
  2. 2[uncountable, countable] a system of government in which there are a large number of state officials who are not elected; a country with such a system the power of the state bureaucracy living in a modern bureaucracy
  3. Word Originearly 19th cent.: from French bureaucratie, from bureau, originally ‘baize’ (used to cover writing desks), from Old French burel, probably from bure ‘dark brown’, based on Greek purros ‘red’.Extra examples The organization has promised to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy. Family doctors have suffered from increasing bureaucracy. He had considerable influence over the top levels of the vast bureaucracy. Many of these states have large public bureaucracies of civil servants. Many people believed that the state bureaucracy was corrupt. She is initiating a project to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy. Small businesses fear that complying with the code will lead to excessive bureaucracy and costs. The local bureaucracy was not pleased by the new proposals. We are living in a modern bureaucracy.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bureaucracy