bilk

verb
\ ˈbilk How to pronounce bilk (audio) \
bilked; bilking; bilks

Definition of bilk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to block the free development of : frustrate fate bilks their hopes
2a : to cheat out of something valuable : defraud bilking investors out of their life savings
b : to evade payment of or to bilks his creditors
c : to obtain (something) by defrauding someone The Tampa couple sent out phony sonograms and bilked money from couples wanting children, authorities say.— Brady Dennis
3 : to slip away from bilked her pursuers

bilk

noun

Definition of bilk (Entry 2 of 2)

: an untrustworthy tricky individual : cheat

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Other Words from bilk

Verb

bilker noun

Did You Know?

Verb

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."

Examples of bilk in a Sentence

Verb

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

Noun

people who lost money in the scheme discovered that the investment company was a fake and the “owner” just a bilk

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The film, starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as ex-strippers bilking wealthy clientele for cash, premieres Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening nationwide Sept. 13. Jen Yamato, chicagotribune.com, "How Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ turned a tabloid stripper drama into an ode to female empowerment," 9 Sep. 2019 Portland Public Schools was bilked for $2.9 million when a fraudster posing as one of the district’s construction contractors hoodwinked employees into green-lighting the payment, district officials say. oregonlive.com, "Portland Public Schools nearly scammed out of $2.9 million," 19 Aug. 2019 Since 2014, scammers have bilked worshippers of nearly $2 million, nearly half of which was fraudulently obtained during the first six months of 2019, according to the agency. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Scam artists posing as religious leaders to dupe people of faith," 30 July 2019 The Department of Justice this week announced the arrest of nearly 300 individuals in connection with email scams that bilked people out of millions. Wired, "Security News This Week: 'Simjacker' Attack Can Track Phones Just by Sending a Text," 14 Sep. 2019 The film, starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as ex-strippers bilking wealthy clientele for cash, premieres Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening nationwide Sept. 13. Jen Yamato, chicagotribune.com, "How Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ turned a tabloid stripper drama into an ode to female empowerment," 9 Sep. 2019 The film, starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as ex-strippers bilking wealthy clientele for cash, premieres Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening nationwide Sept. 13. Jen Yamato, chicagotribune.com, "How Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ turned a tabloid stripper drama into an ode to female empowerment," 9 Sep. 2019 He was freed from the misery of that boarding school only when Sarah, having been bilked by a fortune hunter, went broke and had to withdraw him. Jonathan Dee, The New Yorker, "Why Lafcadio Hearn’s Ghost Stories Still Haunt Us," 9 Sep. 2019 The film, starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as ex-strippers bilking wealthy clientele for cash, premieres Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening nationwide Sept. 13. Los Angeles Times, "How Lorene Scafaria’s ‘Hustlers’ turned a tabloid stripper drama into an ode to female empowerment," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And, despite its super hinky backstory, a bronze behemoth of bilk is taking shape in Everett. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Is gambling here to stay?," 17 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of bilk

Verb

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

1777, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bilk

Verb and Noun

perhaps alteration of balk entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near bilk

biliterate

bilith

biliverdin

bilk

bill

billabong

bill and coo

Statistics for bilk

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bilk

The first known use of bilk was in 1641

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More Definitions for bilk

bilk

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bilk

chiefly US, informal : to cheat or trick (a person or organization) especially by taking money

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More from Merriam-Webster on bilk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bilk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bilk

Spanish Central: Translation of bilk

Nglish: Translation of bilk for Spanish Speakers

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