noun ( pl. -cies)
a system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives.
• a state or organization governed or managed according to such a system.
• the officials in such a system, considered as a group or hierarchy.
• excessively complicated administrative procedure, seen as characteristic of such a system : the unnecessary bureaucracy in local government.
ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from French bureaucratie, from bureau (see bureau, -cracy ).