Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
tr.v. burked, burk·ing, burkes
1. To suppress or extinguish quietly; stifle: burked the investigation by failing to reappoint the commission.
2. To avoid; disregard: "To make The Tempest a tragic and depressing play he was willing to burke all the elements that made it the exact opposite" (Robert M. Adams).
3. To execute (someone) by suffocation so as to leave the body intact and suitable for dissection.
[After William Burke (1792-1829), Irish-born grave robber and murderer.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Biography) Edmund. 1729–97, British Whig statesman, conservative political theorist, and orator, born in Ireland: defended parliamentary government and campaigned for a more liberal treatment of the American colonies; denounced the French Revolution
2. (Biography) Robert O'Hara. 1820–61, Irish explorer, who led the first expedition (1860–61) across Australia from south to north. He was accompanied by W. J. Wills, George Grey, and John King; King alone survived the return journey
3. (Biography) William. 1792–1829, Irish murderer and body snatcher; associate of William Hare
1. (Law) to murder in such a way as to leave no marks on the body, usually by suffocation
2. to get rid of, silence, or suppress
[C19: named after William Burke, executed in Edinburgh for a murder of this type]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
v.t. burked, burk•ing.
1. to murder by suffocation, so as to leave no marks of violence.
2. to suppress or get rid of quietly or indirectly.
[1840–45; after William Burke, hanged in 1829 in Edinburgh for murders of this kind]
Edmund, 1729–97, Irish statesman, orator, and writer.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: burked
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||Burke - British statesman famous for his oratory; pleaded the cause of the American colonists in British Parliament and defended the parliamentary system (1729-1797)|
|2.||Burke - United States frontierswoman and legendary figure of the Wild West noted for her marksmanship (1852-1903)|
|Verb||1.||burke - murder without leaving a trace on the body|
|2.||burke - get rid of, silence, or suppress; "burke an issue"|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
1. To hold (something requiring an outlet) in check:
choke (back), gag, hold back, hold down, hush (up), muffle, quench, repress, smother, squelch, stifle, strangle, suppress, throttle.
Informal: sit on (or upon).
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.