verb (used with object), bur·ied, bur·y·ing.
  1. to put in the ground and cover with earth: The pirates buried the chest on the island.
  2. 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.
  3. to plunge in deeply; cause to sink in: to bury an arrow in a target.
  4. to cover in order to conceal from sight: She buried the card in the deck.
  5. to immerse (oneself): He buried himself in his work.
  6. to put out of one's mind: to bury an insult.
  7. 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 bur·ies.
  1. Nautical. housing1(def 8a, b).
  1. 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.
  2. 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 formshalf-bur·ied, adjectivere·bur·y, verb (used with object), re·bur·ied, re·bur·y·ing.un·bur·ied, adjectivewell-bur·ied, adjective
Can be confusedBarry berry bury

Synonyms for bury

Antonyms for bury

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

Examples from the Web for half-buried

Historical Examples of half-buried

  • Another sword was lying twenty yards away, half-buried in the sand.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for half-buried


  1. partially burieda ring half-buried in the mud


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


verb buries, burying or buried (tr)
  1. to place (a corpse) in a grave, usually with funeral rites; inter
  2. to place in the earth and cover with soil
  3. to lose through death
  4. to cover from sight; hide
  5. to embed; sinkto bury a nail in plaster
  6. to occupy (oneself) with deep concentration; engrossto be buried in a book
  7. to dismiss from the mind; abandonto bury old hatreds
  8. bury the hatchet to cease hostilities and become reconciled
  9. bury one's head in the sand to refuse to face a problem

Word Origin for bury

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

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