- The definition of a bureau is a chest of drawers or a government department or an office or agency with a specific purpose.
- 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.
An elegant antique bureau.
nounpl. bureaus or bureaux
- 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 bureauFrench 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?]