transitive verbbur·ied, bur·y·ing, bur·ies
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.
a. To place in the ground; cover with earth: The dog buried the bone. The oil was buried deep under the tundra.
b. To place so as to conceal; hide or obscure: 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.
- Slang To outdo or defeat by a large margin: The team was buried in the first half by its crosstown rivals.
Origin of bury
Middle English burien 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 (bür′yən). During Middle English times this (ü) sound changed, but with different results in different regions of England: to (&oobrev;) as in put
in the Midlands, to (ĭ) as in pit
in southern England, or to (ĕ) as in pet
in southeast England. London was located in the East Midlands dialect zone, but because of 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 (&oobrev;), 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).
A borough of northwest England north-northwest of Manchester.x
(third-person singular simple present buries, present participle burying, simple past and past participle buried)
- To ritualistically inter in a grave or tomb.
- To place in the ground.
- bury a bone; bury the embers
- (often figuratively) To hide or conceal as if by covering with earth or another substance.
- she buried her face in the pillow; they buried us in paperwork
- (figuratively) To suppress and hide away in one's mind.
- secrets kept hidden; she hid her shame and put on a smiling face.
- (figuratively) To put an end to; to abandon.
- They buried their argument and shook hands.
- (figuratively) To score a goal.
- (slang) To kill or murder.
Middle English burien, berien, from Old English byrġan, from Proto-Germanic *burgijaną (cf. Old Norse byrgja ‘to close’), from *berganą (“to protect, shelter”) (cf. Old English beorgan, West Frisian bergje ‘to keep’, German bergen ‘to save/rescue something’), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerĝʰ, *bʰr̥ĝʰ (cf. Albanian mburojë (“shield”), Lithuanian (Eastern) bir̃ginti ‘to save, spare’, Russian беречь (bereč') ‘to spare’, Ossetian æмбæрзын (æmbærzyn, “to cover”).
- A borough; a manor
- A metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England
- A placename suffix indicating a fortified place.
From Old English burh (“fortified place”)