What does Burke mean?

Definitions for Burke

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Burke.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Burke, Edmund Burkenoun

    British statesman famous for his oratory; pleaded the cause of the American colonists in British Parliament and defended the parliamentary system (1729-1797)

  2. Burk, Martha Jane Burk, Burke, Martha Jane Burke, Calamity Janeverb

    United States frontierswoman and legendary figure of the Wild West noted for her marksmanship (1852-1903)

  3. burkeverb

    murder without leaving a trace on the body

  4. burkeverb

    get rid of, silence, or suppress

    "burke an issue"


  1. burkenoun

    Variant spelling of berk.

  2. burkeverb

    To murder by suffocation, or so as to produce few marks of violence, for the purpose of obtaining a body to be sold for dissection.

  3. burkeverb

    To smother; to conceal, hush up, suppress.

  4. Burkenoun

    for someone who lived in a fortified place.

  5. Burkenoun

    One of various places in the United States.

  6. Etymology: Eponym, from William Burke.


  1. Burke

    Burke is an Anglo-Norman Irish surname, deriving from the ancient Anglo-Norman and Hiberno-Norman noble dynasty, the House of Burgh. In Ireland, the descendants of William de Burgh (c. 1160–1206) had the surname de Burgh which was gaelicised in Irish as de Búrca and over the centuries became Búrc then Burke and Bourke.


  1. burke

    As a noun, Burke refers to an Irish playwright and essayist, Edmund Burke, who was an influential figure in the history of political theory and philosophy. As a verb, to 'burke' generally means to suppress quietly or indirectly; bypass or avoid. It originates from the 19th-century murderer William Burke, who killed people to supply bodies for dissection to medical schools. Therefore, it can also mean to murder, as by suffocation, so as to leave no or few marks of violence. The uses of the verb 'burke' are generally in historical contexts or literature. In some dictionaries, you may also find Burke defined as the act of hushing up an investigation or squelching a report.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Burkeverb

    to murder by suffocation, or so as to produce few marks of violence, for the purpose of obtaining a body to be sold for dissection

  2. Burkeverb

    to dispose of quietly or indirectly; to suppress; to smother; to shelve; as, to burke a parliamentary question


  1. Burke

    Burke is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2000 census, Burke had a total population of 57,737. Before 2010, the CDP was divided, with a portion of it becoming Burke Centre CDP; the population remaining in the Burke CDP was reported at 41,055 in the 2010 census.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Burke

    burk, v.t. to murder, esp. by stifling: hence (fig.) to put an end to quietly. [From Burke, an Edinburgh Irishman (hanged 1829), who committed the crime in order to sell the bodies of his victims for dissection.]

Suggested Resources

  1. burke

    Quotes by burke -- Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by burke on the Quotes.net website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Burke

    To stop or gag--e.g. to burke a question. After an Irishman of this name, who silently and secretly took the lives of many peaceable citizens by holding a pitch plaster over their mouths, in order to sell their bodies to the doctors for dissection. He was hanged in 1849. His crimes were described as “Burking.”

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. BURKE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Burke is ranked #246 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Burke surname appeared 122,877 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 42 would have the surname Burke.

    85.9% or 105,588 total occurrences were White.
    8.7% or 10,764 total occurrences were Black.
    2.4% or 2,961 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.6% or 2,064 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.6% or 836 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.5% or 664 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Anagrams for Burke »

  1. burek

  2. bruke

How to pronounce Burke?

How to say Burke in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Burke in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Burke in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of Burke in a Sentence

  1. Joseph Conway:

    His decision to retire is unrelated to any speculation of a federal investigation, chief Burke vehemently denies any wrongdoing whatsoever and looks forward to the next chapter in his life.

  2. Karey Burke:

    We couldn't be prouder of this game-changing show and the impact it has had on our cultural landscape, the success of' Fresh Off the Boat' has helped pave the way for inclusion throughout the industry. Nahnatchka Khan and Karey Burke brilliant creative team have created an unforgettable series with an Asian-American family front and center, something that hadn't been done in two decades.

  3. Anthony Bourdain:

    I mean, I never had the highest opinion of him in the first place, but I guess he’s the last person in this life I should look to for principles, david Burke went in and took over [ the space Jose Andres had originally occupied ], and promptly tried to poach David Burke staff, I hear. This was after Jose Andres reached out and said Everyone welcome Jose Andres to Washington, don’t hold it against Jose Andres, just because I decided to pull out. So Burke’s a steaming loaf of sh --, as far as I ’m concerned, and feel free to quote me.

  4. Father Beck:

    I think that by the majority of Roman Catholics, Cardinal Burke and some other very right-wing bishops are seen as outliers, especially with this issue. So, while they have some followers who are listening to what they're saying, I don't think by any means it's the majority, or that they're having a great influence on what they're saying, i'm working in three parishes, practically everybody I talked to is getting vaccinated, if they are not getting vaccinated, it's for health reasons, it's not because Roman Catholic Church is saying anything that they're getting second thoughts about. So, I really don't think that the positions of Cardinal Burke and his ilk right now are having a great effect with most Roman Catholics.

  5. Greg Wilson:

    This is going to be one of the most complete T. rex specimens in the world. And it’s gorgeous in terms of its preservation — the bone is spectacular, i ’m super excited to be able to bring this to the Burke, the Pacific Northwest and the University of Washington.

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Translations for Burke

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    a vigorous blow
    • A. bash
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