A system of administration distinguished by its (1) clear hierarchy of authority, (2) rigid division of labor, (3) written and inflexible rules, regulations, and procedures, and (4) impersonal relationships. Once instituted, bureaucracies are difficult to dislodge or change. See also Parkinson's Law and Peter Principle.

Use bureaucracy in a sentence

  • Police officers, postal workers, city employees, and many other people who hold low-level government positions are all part of our bureaucracy.

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  • The speaker explained her views on bureaucracy by challenging its effectiveness, and then asked if anyone in the room had any questions or opinions that differed from hers.

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  • I'm tired of this bureaucracy, all this meaningless paperwork and lying politicians make me want to shoot myself in the face and scream bloody murder in the street.

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