- to kill, to murder, secretly and without noise, by means of strangulation. From Burke, the notorious Edinburgh murderer, who, with an accomplice named Hare, used to decoy people into the den he inhabited, kill them, and sell their bodies for dissection. The wretches having been apprehended and tried, Burke was executed, while Hare, having turned king’s evidence, was released. Bishop and Williams were their London imitators. The term BURKE is now usually applied to any project that is quietly stopped or stifled—as “the question has been BURKED.” A book suppressed before publication is said to be BURKED.
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