- to murder, as by suffocation, so as to leave no or few marks of violence.
- to suppress or get rid of by some indirect maneuver.
Origin of burke
Related Words for burkingdodge, elude, sidestep, evade, ignore, bypass, circumvent, muzzle, suppress, smother, repress, suffocate, curb, squelch, strangle, silence, subdue, quench, censor, abolish
Examples from the Web for burking
Historical Examples of burking
But there is an Ulster difficulty, and no amount of burking it will solve it.The Insurrection in Dublin
Two especially; that is to say, the practice of Burking, and bad surgery.The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4)
Thomas Babington Macaulay
The burking of her own letters, sent with unfailing regularity until outraged pride bade her cease, was equally clear.The Message
Having wrought so assiduously for anatomy, he ended by burking phrenology.The Court of Cacus
If a child were lost, the paragraph announcing the fact was headed, “Another supposed case of Burking.”The Diary of a Resurrectionist, 1811-1812
James Blake Bailey
- to murder in such a way as to leave no marks on the body, usually by suffocation
- to get rid of, silence, or suppress
Word Origin for burke
- 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
- 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
- William . 1792–1829, Irish murderer and body snatcher; associate of William Hare
family name (first recorded 1066), from Anglo-Norman pronunciation of Old English burgh. Not common in England itself, but it took root in Ireland, where William de Burgo went in 1171 with Henry II and later became Earl of Ulster. As shorthand for a royalty reference book, it represents "A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom," first issued 1826, compiled by John Burke (1787-1848). As a verb meaning "murder by smothering," it is abstracted from William Burk, executed in Edinburgh 1829 for murdering several persons to sell their bodies for dissection.