Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


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.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.burked - suppressed quietly or indirectly
suppressed - kept from public knowledge by various means;