1

bilk

verb \ ˈbilk \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of bilk

transitive verb
1 :to block the free development of :frustrate
  • fate bilks their hopes
2 a :to cheat out of something valuable :defraud
  • bilking investors out of their life savings
b :to evade payment of or to
  • bilks his creditors
3 :to slip away from
  • bilked her pursuers

bilker

noun

bilk was our Word of the Day on 04/14/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of bilk in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of bilk from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bilk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


2

bilk

noun

Definition of bilk

: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

Origin and Etymology of bilk

see 1bilk


BILK Defined for English Language Learners

bilk

verb

Definition of bilk for English Language Learners

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



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