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14th century substantivization of haplologized (shortened) participial adjective beampt (also 14th century), which became Beamter in Neuhochdeutsch. From Old High German and Middle High German precursors of Amt (office).[1]

Nowadays often superficially analyzed as a shortened form of the rare Beamteter, which sometimes incites pseudoeducated claims that a feminine form *Beamte could be created (from the equally rare feminine form Beamtete), but this sounds silly to German speakers due to the well established feminine Form Beamtin, which naturally evolved from Beamter + -in since the word beam(p)t no longer existed.[2]


  • IPA(key): /bəˈʔamtɐ/ (Germany, most areas)
  • IPA(key): /bəˈʔamtər/ (Switzerland, some speakers of southern Germany and Austria)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: Be‧am‧ter


Beamter m (adjectival, definite nominative der Beamte, genitive (des) Beamten, plural Beamte, definite plural die Beamten, feminine Beamtin)

  1. government employee, (government) official, civil servant, public servant, (police) officer (male or of unspecified gender)
    Synonyms: Amtsträger, Staatsbediensteter, Staatsdiener
    Antonyms: Angestellter, Arbeiter, Unternehmer

Usage notes[edit]

  • Beamter is declined only as a masculine nominalized adjective. There has never been a feminine equivalent *Beamte. However, due to superficial analysis of the masculine word and disregard for and even denigration of well established usage, there are fairly frequent calls for use of this erroneous feminine form, but it is only very rarely seen in writing.[2] The feminine form has always been Beamtin, which is declined like a standard feminine noun. The extremely rare feminine *Beamte is labeled incorrect in Duden and not even mentioned in other reference sources.
  • The weak form der Beamte is very common and listed as the lemma in




Further reading[edit]

  • Beamter” in Duden online
  • Beamte” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache