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
Irish-born British politician and writer. Famous for his oratory, he pleaded the cause of the American colonists in Parliament and was instrumental in developing the notions of party responsibility and a loyal opposition within the parliamentary system. His major work, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), voices his opposition to the excesses of the French experience.