- to defraud; cheat: He bilked the government of almost a million dollars.
- to evade payment of (a debt).
- to frustrate: a career bilked by poor health.
- to escape from; elude: to bilk one's pursuers.
- a cheat; swindler.
- a trick; fraud; deceit.
Origin of bilk
SynonymsSee more synonyms for bilk on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bilking
The Welfare Queen Josh Levin, Slate In the 1970s, Ronald Reagan villainized a Chicago woman for bilking the government.The Week’s Best Longreads for December 21, 2013
December 21, 2013
If convicted of manipulating and bilking Bettencourt, he could face up to three years in prison.Fight for the L'Oreal Billions
September 5, 2009
- to balk; thwart
- (often foll by of) to cheat or deceive, esp to avoid making payment to
- to escape from; elude
- cribbage to play a card that hinders (one's opponent) from scoring in his or her crib
- a swindle or cheat
- a person who swindles or cheats
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.