A bureau can refer to several different pieces of furniture. One is similar to a dresser or wardrobe. It holds clothing and like a dresser, usually in drawers. Unlike a wardrobe, it does not usually have a place to hang clothes. Another type of bureau or meaning is an office desk, sometimes with a close-able, lockable top. This is probably where the term for bureau as the office of a particular topic evolved.
- wood - usually the "casing" and drawers are made of wood, whole boards or pressed wood with a wood veneer
- metal or plastic - some drawers have metal runners with pegs to stop the drawers from coming all the way out
Other related terms: chest of drawers, desk, secretary desk, armoire desk
- Wikipedia's article on chest of drawers
- Encyclopædia Britannica on bureau