burke(redirected from William Burke)
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tr.v. burked, burk·ing, burkes
1. To suppress or extinguish quietly; stifle: burked the investigation by failing to reappoint the commission.
2. 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).
3. To execute (someone) by suffocation so as to leave the body intact and suitable for dissection.
[After William Burke (1792-1829), Irish-born grave robber and murderer.]
1. (Biography) Edmund. 1729–97, British Whig statesman, conservative political theorist, and orator, born in Ireland: defended parliamentary government and campaigned for a more liberal treatment of the American colonies; denounced the French Revolution
2. (Biography) Robert O'Hara. 1820–61, Irish explorer, who led the first expedition (1860–61) across Australia from south to north. He was accompanied by W. J. Wills, George Grey, and John King; King alone survived the return journey
3. (Biography) William. 1792–1829, Irish murderer and body snatcher; associate of William Hare
1. (Law) to murder in such a way as to leave no marks on the body, usually by suffocation
2. to get rid of, silence, or suppress
[C19: named after William Burke, executed in Edinburgh for a murder of this type]
v.t. burked, burk•ing.
1. to murder by suffocation, so as to leave no marks of violence.
2. to suppress or get rid of quietly or indirectly.
[1840–45; after William Burke, hanged in 1829 in Edinburgh for murders of this kind]
Edmund, 1729–97, Irish statesman, orator, and writer.
Past participle: burked
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|Noun||1.||Burke - British statesman famous for his oratory; pleaded the cause of the American colonists in British Parliament and defended the parliamentary system (1729-1797)|
|2.||Burke - United States frontierswoman and legendary figure of the Wild West noted for her marksmanship (1852-1903)|
|Verb||1.||burke - murder without leaving a trace on the body|
|2.||burke - get rid of, silence, or suppress; "burke an issue"|
1. To hold (something requiring an outlet) in check:
choke (back), gag, hold back, hold down, hush (up), muffle, quench, repress, smother, squelch, stifle, strangle, suppress, throttle.
Informal: sit on (or upon).