An elegant antique bureau.
- An example of bureau is a typical piece of bedroom furniture.
- An example of bureau is the FBI.
- An example of bureau is a travel agency.
nounpl. -·reaus or -·reaux
- a writing table or desk, with drawers for papers
- a chest of drawers, with or without a mirror, as for clothing
- an agency for collecting and giving information or performing other services: a credit bureau, a travel bureau
- a local office of such an agency
- a government department, or a subdivision of a government department
Origin of bureauFr, writing table or desk, office from Old French burel, coarse cloth (as table cover) from Vulgar Latin an unverified form bura from Late Latin burra, wool, shaggy garment
nounpl. bu·reaus, or bu·reaux
- A chest of drawers, especially a dresser for holding clothes.
- Chiefly British A writing desk or writing table with drawers.
- a. A government department or a subdivision of a department.b. An office, usually of a large organization, that is responsible for a specific duty: a news bureau.c. A business that offers information of a specified kind: a travel bureau.
Origin of bureauFrench cloth cover for desks, desk, office from Old French burel woolen cloth probably from Vulgar Latin būra from Late Latin burra shaggy garment
(plural bureaux or bureaus)
Borrowing from French bureau, earlier "coarse cloth (as desk cover), baize", from Old French burel (“woolen cloth”), diminutive of *bure (cf. Middle French bure (“coarse woolen cloth”), French bourre (“hair, fluff”)), from Late Latin burra (“wool, fluff, shaggy cloth, coarse fabric”); akin to Ancient Greek βερβέριον (berberion, “shabby garment”). [Greek?]