noun, plural bureaus, bureaux [byoor-ohz] .
a chest of drawers, often with a mirror at the top.
a division of a government department or an independent administrative unit.
an office for collecting or distributing news or information, coordinating work, or performing specified services; agency: a travel bureau; a news bureau.
Chiefly British. a desk or writing table with drawers for papers.

1710–20; < French: desk, office, originally a kind of cloth (used to cover desks, etc.), Anglo-French, Old French burel, equivalent to bur- (probably < *būra, variant of Late Latin burra wool, fluff; compare bourrée) + -el noun suffix

subbureau, noun, plural subbureaus, subbureaux. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To subbureau
World English Dictionary
bureau (ˈbjʊərəʊ)
n , pl -reaus, -reaux
1.  chiefly (Brit) a writing desk with pigeonholes, drawers, etc, against which the writing surface can be closed when not in use
2.  (US) a chest of drawers
3.  an office or agency, esp one providing services for the public
4.  a.  a government department
 b.  a branch of a government department
[C17: from French: desk, office, originally: type of cloth used for covering desks and tables, from Old French burel, from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1690s, from Fr. bureau "office, desk," originally "cloth covering for a desk," from burel "coarse woolen cloth" (as a cover for writing desks), O.Fr. dim. of bure "dark brown cloth," which is perhaps either from L. burrus "red," or from L.L. burra "wool, shaggy garment." Offices being full of such desks,
the meaning expanded 1720 to "division of a government."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature