A bureaucrat is an administrative official who works for the government. You brought the budget office bureaucrat a book about literacy, hoping to convince him you need more funding for the library.

The word bureaucrat comes from bureaucracy, which means a system of government where state officials make decisions instead of elected ones. In America, bureaucrat often has a negative ring to it because some people think they make procedures too complicated and time-consuming — driving people crazy but ensuring they, the bureaucrats, stay busy processing it.

Definitions of bureaucrat

n an official of a bureaucracy

administrative official
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
bean counter
an accountant or bureaucrat who is believed to place undue emphasis on the control of expenditures
a clerk or bureaucrat who does paperwork
(ancient Rome) someone employed by the Roman Emperor to manage finance and taxes
assessor, tax assessor
an official who evaluates property for the purpose of taxing it
collector of internal revenue, exciseman, internal revenue agent, tax collector, taxman
someone who collects taxes for the government
a bureaucrat who levies taxes
assessor who makes out the tax lists
Pilate, Pontius Pilate
the Roman procurator of Judea who ordered that Jesus be crucified (died in AD 36)
Type of:
functionary, official
a worker who holds or is invested with an office

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.