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bu·reauc·ra·cy  (by-rkr-s)
n. pl. bu·reauc·ra·cies
a. Administration of a government chiefly through bureaus or departments staffed with nonelected officials.
b. The departments and their officials as a group: promised to reorganize the federal bureaucracy.
a. Management or administration marked by hierarchical authority among numerous offices and by fixed procedures: The new department head did not know much about bureaucracy.
b. The administrative structure of a large or complex organization: a midlevel manager in a corporate bureaucracy.
3. An administrative system in which the need or inclination to follow rigid or complex procedures impedes effective action: innovative ideas that get bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy.

[French bureaucratie : bureau, office; see bureau + -cratie, rule (from Old French; see -cracy).]

bureaucracy  /byrkrsi/  n. -cies a group of government or business departments with complex rules and slow decision making: Her application for citizenship has not gotten through the bureaucracy. bureaucracy

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