Definition of bureaucracy in English:

bureaucracy

noun

  • 1A system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives.

    • ‘In Germany, a genocidal society was working with state bureaucracy to roll out the massive program of the Holocaust.’
    • ‘In this case the people are circus performers, not very good ones, and the system is the Communist bureaucracy of Czechoslovakia.’
    • ‘He surveys the continued break-up and decline in influence of the old social democratic bureaucracy and predicts that reaction will benefit.’
    • ‘It is just more socialist bureaucracy and more pandering to the trade union movement.’
    • ‘Weber's most notable contribution, however, lay in identifying the importance of bureaucracy to modern politics.’
    • ‘It is not focused on the growth of the economy, but on the growth of surpluses, welfare dependency, and bureaucracy.’
    • ‘I will bet that members opposite will vote for bureaucracy rather than for common sense.’
    • ‘He believed in the benefits to be gained from freeing people from the shackles of bureaucracy and excessive regulation.’
    • ‘Far from their learning any lessons, these events drive them closer to bureaucracy, the national bourgeoisie, and imperialism.’
    • ‘When Yahoo bureaucracy rules, people die in the health services and the aged in nursing homes are victimised while benchmark payments are pocketed.’
    • ‘It also reduces the links between social democracy and overbearing bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Dawa had been working under Chinese bureaucracy for quite some time.’
    civil service, administration, government, directorate, the establishment, the system, the powers that be, corridors of power
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    1. 1.1[count noun] A state or organization governed or managed as a bureaucracy.
      • ‘Most bureaucracies encourage their people to be the first and only line of defense.’
      • ‘In brushing aside the crimes of the Stalinist bureaucracy, the claim is made that the market economy in China will inevitably bring democracy.’
      • ‘Just one decade later the policy of the Stalinist bureaucracy represented the opposite.’
      • ‘Certainly, massive health bureaucracies and well endowed research institutions do not have a monopoly on wisdom.’
      • ‘Three critical experiences of BC workers exemplify the role of the union bureaucracy and the NDP.’
      • ‘Virtually all corporations and government bureaucracies are dictatorships.’
      • ‘Does anyone really believe that the majority of working people actually like Government bureaucracies?’
      • ‘He and six other members of the eight-man Soviet delegation, including Bukharin who led it, died at the hands of the Stalinist bureaucracy.’
      • ‘This is one of the big problems with bureaucracies, especially as regards long-seated civil organizations.’
      • ‘By 1991 the Soviet Union, and the Stalinist bureaucracy which headed it, had collapsed.’
      • ‘He distrusts private initiative and longs for giant bureaucracies to run people's lives for them.’
      • ‘On top of this, the Stalinist bureaucracy was gaining a stranglehold on the revolution.’
      • ‘The post-Soviet bureaucracies thrive on registration, licensing and other enforced paperwork.’
      • ‘The Stalinist bureaucracy in Beijing, which was based on the seizure of power by peasant-based armies, was never socialist or communist.’
      • ‘Its first act has been to draft a new democratic constitution which will outlaw oppression of the former communist bureaucracy.’
      • ‘Benn believed the Soviet system remained a positive force long after the workers' state of 1917 was replaced with the Stalinist bureaucracy.’
      • ‘The Stalinist bureaucracy has proven to be - as Trotsky predicted - the gravedigger of the October Revolution.’
      • ‘However, even his own federal bureaucracy eliminated 40,000 jobs this year.’
      • ‘Such automatic feedback mechanisms are one of the primary reasons why markets perform so much better than public sector bureaucracies.’
      • ‘Some were continued, largely because there were so many elements within the Baath Party bureaucracy with a vested interest in these expenditures.’
    2. 1.2[count noun] The officials in a bureaucracy, considered as a group or hierarchy.
      • ‘In other words, they must know how to motivate the bureaucracy through personal contacts, wining and dining, and red envelopes.’
      • ‘The same can be said about Attac's relations with the trade union bureaucracy, another important prop of the old social order.’
      • ‘The labour bureaucracies could no longer combine their defence of the profit system with the advocacy of limited social reforms.’
      • ‘He created a multi-layered bureaucracy between him and the people who worked on the trains, as well as the traveling public.’
      • ‘That is, a system dominated by a privileged bureaucracy which puts its own interests before those of the masses and a political leadership which represents this bureaucracy.’
      • ‘The role of the school district bureaucracy shrinks to handing out money and administering the accountability program.’
      • ‘In Eastern Europe, the ruling bureaucracy suppressed every independent political movement of the working class.’
      • ‘There are, of course, a chief executive's policies, which are executed by a staff and attending bureaucracies.’
      • ‘Did the foreign policy bureaucracy facilitate or impede presidential decisions for war?’
      • ‘The federal bureaucracy, where millions of workers don't agree with the president, has been weak.’
      • ‘Needless to say, a gigantic new Labour bureaucracy has risen from the ground to serve it, with 570 on the payroll in England alone at one point.’
      • ‘In America, large firms and the state have to employ bureaucracies to cope with and satisfy one another.’
      • ‘This ruling is a victory for a distant bureaucracy over democratically elected authorities acting in the public good.’
      • ‘He often seemed to regard the Washington bureaucracy rather than the Vietnamese communists as his main enemy.’
      • ‘It took a lot of courage to write in a police state that ‘the ruling bureaucracy is anti working class, an enemy’, and call for its revolutionary overthrow.’
      • ‘The other prop for the Labour leadership is the union bureaucracies, the full time officials at the top of the hierarchy.’
      • ‘The foreign policy bureaucracy, not elected of course, plays a subordinate, non-political, essentially instrumental role.’
      • ‘The German bureaucracy worked loyally; its Soviet counterpart often worked more for itself than for its rulers.’
      • ‘The medieval period was one of political fragmentation even as the state administrative bureaucracy grew.’
      • ‘Conservative MPs, the constituency associations, and the party bureaucracy at Central Office are now united in a single organization.’
  • 2Excessively complicated administrative procedure:

    ‘the unnecessary bureaucracy in local government’
    • ‘Centralised student unions work best when freed from this unnecessary level of bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Labour regulation and bureaucracy would be swept away.’
    • ‘Colleges also suffered from excessive bureaucracy, he said.’
    • ‘Creating laws that insist on transparency will also create a huge amount of paperwork, administration and bureaucracy and enforcement costs.’
    • ‘Contract manufacturers benefit from reduced layers of bureaucracy and more streamlined procedures.’
    • ‘Of course, with their soviet training, the new eastern states should easily get to grips with the arcane procedures and bureaucracy of the EU.’
    • ‘Many things in India are complex because of massive bureaucracy, protocol and procedure.’
    • ‘But he insisted that the reductions could be found by tackling waste and administrative bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Pupil behaviour, excessive workload and bureaucracy, teacher shortages and the stream of new Government initiatives have all been cited as causes.’
    • ‘There is no overbearing bureaucracy or complicated rules.’
    • ‘Dragged down by the increased workload and snowed under by excessive bureaucracy, GPs feel no sense of involvement in the changes being made in the NHS.’
    • ‘More than 3,600 staff will be given the chance to influence the way the trust is run by pointing out the unnecessary rules, paperwork and bureaucracy which slow them down.’
    • ‘Serious executive authority is required to slice through the Kirk's ever-growing bureaucracy and its cumbersome administrative procedures.’
    • ‘The unit will tackle unnecessary paperwork and reduce bureaucracy.’
    • ‘They waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so make the country poorer.’
    • ‘They are burdened down with unnecessary bureaucracy and regulations.’
    • ‘And doctors who chose their vocation in order to cure the sick say unnecessary bureaucracy is eating into the time they have to care for patients and spend with their families.’
    • ‘That revealed 81.2% of teachers want to see levels of paperwork and bureaucracy in schools cut.’
    • ‘It is not Treaty settlement legislation but welfarism and bureaucracy, and it needs substantial amendment.’
    • ‘He is coping with local government bureaucracy and finds the system not very frustrating.’
    red tape, rules and regulations, etiquette, protocol, officialdom
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Origin

Early 19th century: from French bureaucratie, from bureau (see bureau).

Pronunciation:

bureaucracy

/ˌbjʊ(ə)ˈrɒkrəsi/