Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

bilk

play
verb \ˈbilk\

Simple Definition of bilk

  • : to cheat or trick (a person or organization) especially by taking money

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of bilk

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to block the free development of :  frustrate <fate bilks their hopes>

  3. 2 a :  to cheat out of something valuable :  defraud b :  to evade payment of or to <bilks his creditors>

  4. 3 :  to slip away from <bilked her pursuers>

bilker

noun

Examples of bilk in a sentence

  1. <an investigation revealed that the garage had been bilking motorists for repairs that had never been made>



Did You Know?

Initially, "bilking" wasn't considered cheating-just good strategy for cribbage players. Language historians aren't sure where "bilk" originated, but they have noticed that its earliest uses occur in contexts referring to cribbage. Part of the scoring in cribbage involves each player adding cards from his or her hand to a pile of discards called the "crib." At the end of a hand, the dealer gets any points in the crib. Strategically, then, it's wisest for the dealer's opponent to discard non-scoring cards-the ones most likely to "balk," or put a check on, the dealer's score. Etymologists theorize that "bilk" may have originated as an alteration of that card-game "balk."

Origin and Etymology of bilk

perhaps alteration of 2balk


First Known Use: 1647


2

bilk

noun

Definition of bilk

  1. :  an untrustworthy tricky individual :  cheat



Examples of bilk in a sentence

  1. <people who lost money in the scheme discovered that the investment company was a fake and the owner just a bilk>



1790

First Known Use of bilk

1790

Rhymes with bilk


Learn More about bilk


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bilk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a representation of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy philistine frenetic melancholy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ