transitive verb bur·ied
- To place in the ground: bury a bone.
a. To place (a corpse) in a grave, a tomb, or the sea; inter.
b. To dispose of (a corpse) ritualistically by means other than interment or cremation.
- To conceal by or as if by covering over with earth; hide: buried her face in the pillow; buried the secret deep within himself.
- To occupy (oneself) with deep concentration; absorb: buried myself in my studies.
- To put an end to; abandon: buried their quarrel and shook hands.
Origin: Middle English burien
Origin: , from Old English byrgan; see bhergh-1 in Indo-European roots
Related Forms:Word History:
Why does bury
rhyme with berry
and not with jury
? The answer goes back to early English times. The late Old English form of the verb bury
pronounced approximately (bürˈyən). During Middle English times this (ü) sound changed, but with different results in different regions of England: to (o͝o) as in put
in the Midlands, to (ĭ) as in pit
in southern England, or to (ĕ) as in pet
in southeast England. London is located in the East Midlands, but because of its central location and its status as the capital, its East Midlands dialect was influenced by southern (Saxon) and southeastern (Kentish) dialects. The normal East Midlands development of (ü) was (o͝o), spelled u.
Because scribes from the East Midlands pronounced the word with this vowel they tended to spell the word with a u,
and this spelling became standard when spellings were fixed after the introduction of printing. The word's pronunciation, however, is southeastern. Bury
is the only word in Modern English with a Midlands spelling and a southeastern pronunciation. Similarly, the word busy,
from Old English bysig, bisig,
and its verb bysgian, bisgian,
“to employ,” is spelled with the East Midlands dialect u,
but pronounced with the southern (Saxon) development of (ü), (ĭ).