• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to defraud; cheat: He bilked the government of almost a million dollars.
  2. to evade payment of (a debt).
  3. to frustrate: a career bilked by poor health.
  4. to escape from; elude: to bilk one's pursuers.
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  1. a cheat; swindler.
  2. a trick; fraud; deceit.
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Origin of bilk

First recorded in 1625–35; of obscure origin
Related formsbilk·er, noun

Synonyms for bilk

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bilking

fleece, con, deceive, defraud, swindle, overreach, do, rook, thwart, beat, ruin, snow, frustrate, trick, foil, gyp, disappoint, circumvent, bamboozle, flimflam

Examples from the Web for bilking

Contemporary Examples of bilking

British Dictionary definitions for bilking


verb (tr)
  1. to balk; thwart
  2. (often foll by of) to cheat or deceive, esp to avoid making payment to
  3. to escape from; elude
  4. cribbage to play a card that hinders (one's opponent) from scoring in his or her crib
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  1. a swindle or cheat
  2. a person who swindles or cheats
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Derived Formsbilker, noun

Word Origin for bilk

C17: perhaps variant of balk
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

Word Origin and History for bilking



1650s, from or along with the noun (1630s), first used as a cribbage term; as a verb, "to spoil (someone's) score." Origin obscure, it was believed in 17c. to be "a word signifying nothing;" perhaps it s a thinned form of balk "to hinder." Meaning "to defraud" is first recorded 1670s. Related: Bilked; bilking.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper