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[ber-ee] /ˈbɛr i/
verb (used with object), buried, burying.
to put in the ground and cover with earth:
The pirates buried the chest on the island.
to put (a corpse) in the ground or a vault, or into the sea, often with ceremony:
They buried the sailor with full military honors.
to plunge in deeply; cause to sink in:
to bury an arrow in a target.
to cover in order to conceal from sight:
She buried the card in the deck.
to immerse (oneself):
He buried himself in his work.
to put out of one's mind:
to bury an insult.
to consign to obscurity; cause to appear insignificant by assigning to an unimportant location, position, etc.:
Her name was buried in small print at the end of the book.
noun, plural buries.
Nautical. housing1 (def 8a, b).
bury one's head in the sand, to avoid reality; ignore the facts of a situation:
You cannot continue to bury your head in the sand—you must learn to face facts.
bury the hatchet, to become reconciled or reunited.
Origin of bury
before 1000; Middle English berien, buryen, Old English byrgan to bury, conceal; akin to Old English beorgan to hide, protect, preserve; cognate with Dutch, German bergen, Gothic bairgan, Old Norse bjarga
Related forms
half-buried, adjective
rebury, verb (used with object), reburied, reburying.
unburied, adjective
well-buried, adjective
Can be confused
Barry, berry, bury.
2. inter, entomb, inhume. 4. hide, secrete.
2. disinter, exhume. 4. uncover. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for half-buried
Historical Examples
  • Another sword was lying twenty yards away, half-buried in the sand.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • Cutter often threatened to chop down the cedar trees which half-buried the house.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • Outside, by an ash-pit, he found a bucket and half-buried shovel.

    Mountain Blood Joseph Hergesheimer
  • Sunny sat down to rest a minute, on a half-buried tree-stump.

    Sunny Boy in the Country Ramy Allison White
  • I lay for a moment where I had fallen, half-buried and blind.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • They were all now upon their sides, half-buried in the bunch grass.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Piled with seaweed and half-buried in sand, it remained where they had left it.

    Sign of the Green Arrow

    Roy J. (Roy Judson) Snell
  • The half-buried summits are succeeded by basins of accumulation.

    The Argentine Republic

    Pierre Denis
  • Mary and I saw the half-buried skeleton of one out by the gate.

  • "It is true," said Francesco, pausing by a half-buried shaft.

    The Hill of Venus Nathan Gallizier
British Dictionary definitions for half-buried


partially buried: a ring half-buried in the mud


a town in NW England, in Bury unitary authority, Greater Manchester: an early textile centre. Pop: 60 178 (2001)
a unitary authority in NW England, in Greater Manchester. Pop: 181 900 (2003 est). Area: 99 sq km (38 sq miles)


verb (transitive) buries, burying, buried
to place (a corpse) in a grave, usually with funeral rites; inter
to place in the earth and cover with soil
to lose through death
to cover from sight; hide
to embed; sink: to bury a nail in plaster
to occupy (oneself) with deep concentration; engross: to be buried in a book
to dismiss from the mind; abandon: to bury old hatreds
bury the hatchet, to cease hostilities and become reconciled
bury one's head in the sand, to refuse to face a problem
Word Origin
Old English byrgan to bury, hide; related to Old Norse bjarga to save, preserve, Old English beorgan to defend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for half-buried



Old English byrgan "to raise a mound, hide, bury, inter," akin to beorgan "to shelter," from Proto-Germanic *burzjan- "protection, shelter" (cf. Old Saxon bergan, Dutch bergen, Old Norse bjarga, Swedish berga, Old High German bergan "protect, shelter, conceal," German bergen, Gothic bairgan "to save, preserve"), from PIE root *bhergh- "protect, preserve" (cf. Old Church Slavonic brego "I preserve, guard"). Related: Buried; burying. Burying-ground "cemetery" attested from 1711.

The Old English -y- was a short "oo" sound, like modern French -u-. Under normal circumstances it transformed into Modern English -i- (e.g. bridge, kiss, listen, sister), but in bury and a few other words (e.g. merry, knell) it retained a Kentish change to "e" that took place in the late Old English period. In the West Midlands, meanwhile, the Old English -y- sound persisted, slightly modified over time, giving the standard modern pronunciation of blush, much, church.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for half-buried



  1. To sentence someone to a very long prison term or to solitary confinement (1900+ Underworld)
  2. To defeat decisively; clobber (1940s+ Sports)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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