Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
transitive verb burked burked, burk·ing, burkes
- To suppress or extinguish quietly; stifle: burked the investigation by failing to reappoint the commission.
- To avoid; disregard: “To make The Tempest a tragic and depressing play he was willing to burke all the elements that made it the exact opposite” (Robert M. Adams).
- To execute (someone) by suffocation so as to leave the body intact and suitable for dissection.
Origin: After William Burke (1792-1829), Irish-born grave robber and murderer.
, Edmund 1729-1797.
, Martha Jane