from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Beadles collectively, and their characteristics as a class.
  • n. Stupid or senseless officiousness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Beadles collectively, and their characteristics as a class; stupid officiousness.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From beadle +‎ -dom.


  • Constable, and in fact it was the day duty which embraced the peculiar dignity of beadledom.

    Fragments of Two Centuries Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King

  • At the time I speak of Knox was the Recorder of that important borough, and was possessed of all the dignity which so enhances a great officer in the eyes of the public, whether he be the most modest of beadles in beadledom, or the highest Recorder in Christendom.

    The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins

  • (Wisla) I prowled about among the crypts with a curious specimen of beadledom who ran off long unintelligible histories in atrocious

    Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 6 Germany, Austria-Hungary and Switzerland, part 2

  • If a book were not restricted to the simplest tales, or pleasing fiction ending in virtue rewarded and vice punished, that was enough; the propriety of beadledom was at once ready to bray.

    The Cathedral

  • In its turn beadledom calculates the sum the dead man brings in, and even the priest, wearied with the prayers of which he has read so many, and needing his breakfast, prays mechanically from the lips outward, while the assistants are in a hurry that the mass to which they have not listened should come to an end, that they may shake hands with the relations, and leave the dead.

    En Route

  • She knows that this assumption of spiritual beadledom is mere affectation, and that other minds have as much right to their own boundary lines as she claims for herself; but it seems to her pretty to assume that woman generally is the consecrated beadle of thought and morality, and that she, of all women, is most specially consecrated.

    Modern Women and What is Said of Them A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868)

  • It was not just a bit of beadledom from the top of the masthead; it was a permission to unleash the counterrevolutionary spirit against the sudden burst of enthusiasm for Mr. Zell’s program.

    Battle Lines Are Drawn at <i>The Los Angeles Times</i>

  • You have Grecian monuments, if anything so misplaced can be called Grecian, imbedded against and cutting into Gothic pillars; the doors shut for the greater part of the day; only a little bit of the building used: beadledom predominant; the clink of money here and there; white-wash in vigour; the singing indifferent; the sermons not indifferent but bad; and some visitors from London forming, perhaps, the most important part of the audience; in fact, the thing having become a show.

    Friends in Council — First Series


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  • OED sez: "The embodiment of the characteristics of beadles as a class; stupid officiousness and ‘red-tapeism.’"

    April 29, 2010

  • I've also seen this related definition: "a stupid or officious display or exercise of authority, as by petty officials."

    October 6, 2008

  • (n.) the sense of self-importance and officiousness seen as characteristic of beadles, or minor officials

    October 6, 2008