E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A system of government in which the business is carried on in bureaux or departments. The French bureau means not only the office of a public functionary, but also the whole staff of officers attached to the department. As a word of reproach, bureaucracy has nearly the same meaning as Dickenss word, red-tapeism (q.v.).