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

burgle

play
verb bur·gle \ˈbər-gəl\

Definition of burgle

burgled

burgling

play \-g(ə-)liŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. :  burglarize



Examples of burgle in a sentence

  1. <someone burgled the lab when no one was there and let the animals out of their cages>

  2. <the neighbors returned from vacation to find that their house had been burgled>



Did You Know?

Burglary, which means "forcible entry into a building especially at night with the intent to commit a crime (as theft)," and "burglar" ("one who commits burglary") have been with us since the 16th century. "Burgle" and its synonym "burglarize" didn't break into the language until the 19th century, however, arriving almost simultaneously around 1870. "Burgle" is a back-formation (that is, a word formed by removing a suffix or prefix) from "burglar." "Burglarize" comes from "burglar" as well, with the addition of the familiar "-ize" ending. Both verbs were once disparaged by grammarians ("burgle" was considered to be "facetious" and "burglarize" was labeled "colloquial"), but they are now generally accepted. "Burglarize" is slightly more common in American English, whereas "burgle" seems to be preferred in British English.

Origin and Etymology of burgle

back-formation from burglar


First Known Use: 1870

Rhymes with burgle


Law Dictionary

burgle

play
transitive verb bur·gle \ˈbər-gəl\

Legal Definition of burgle

burgled

burgling





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival vernal brumal hiemal
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