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1. Of or relating to Franz Kafka or his writings.
2. Marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger: "Kafkaesque fantasies of the impassive interrogation, the false trial, the confiscated passport ... haunt his innocence" (New Yorker).


(ˌkɑf kəˈɛsk)

1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the writings of Franz Kafka.
2. marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.Kafkaesque - relating to or in the manner of Franz Kafka or his writings
2.kafkaesque - characterized by surreal distortion and a sense of impending danger; "the kafkaesque terror of the endless interrogations"
unrealistic - not realistic; "unrealistic expectations"; "prices at unrealistic high levels"


[ˌkæfkəˈesk] ADJkafkiano


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References in periodicals archive ?
Guantanamo Dairy is a difficult, often searing read, though the terrors it describes are, in true Kafka-esque style, mixed with comic absurdities.
It's for unemployed people sanctioned over some Kafka-esque nightmare of bureaucracy - a system that is now coming after people in work.
Like his previous novels, his latest offering tackles the Kafka-esque theme of loneliness and alienation, perhaps more directly than before.
It's an odd story of Kafka-esque abuse of power and nonviolent defiance in the face of authority.
They added that prosecuting a defendant for trying to defend himself 'epitomises the very definition of a Kafka-esque show trial.
Many borrowers tell Kafka-esque stories of bureaucracy, where what used to be a 30- to 60-day process has stretched to 90 days or more.
And now they are even disagreeing on what has been agreed upon at Bkirki, in an almost Kafka-esque situation, and a new level of farce.
Bureaucracy tied up the inhabitants in complicated, sometimes kafka-esque knots recognizable to anyone who has lived in Italy.
Which camp you end up in depends not on anything pertinent, like ability or talent, but rather a Kafka-esque cloud of perceived slights, half-truths and misunderstandings- At the moment I'm on the side of the angels, largely because Karoline thinks I was at the Oscars (actually it was Oscar's Bistro in Leamington Spa) and thus connected to the glitterati.
Given the history of mortgage foreclosures in our courtrooms, taking this process away from judicial scrutiny will only ensure a Kafka-esque experience that will violate both substantive and procedural due process.
JOHN GOODMAN IN BARTON FINK YOU'VE got crippling writer's block and keep imagining the paintings in the nightmarish Kafka-esque hotel you've checked into are coming to life.
My visit to Libya in the late 1990's was as Kafka-esque as the life and times of its then Brother Leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.