bur·​glar·​ize | \ ˈbər-glə-ˌrīz How to pronounce burglarize (audio) also ˈbər-gə-lə- \
burglarized; burglarizing

Definition of burglarize

transitive verb

1 : to break into and steal from burglarize a house
2 : to commit burglary against

intransitive verb

: to commit burglary

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Synonyms for burglarize


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Frequently Asked Questions About burglarize

Is there a difference between burglarize and rob?

To burglarize is "to break into and enter of a building with the intent to commit a crime, often theft," whereas rob means " to take personal property from by violence or threat." Burglary need not entail violence or threat, and robbery need not entail breaking into a dwelling.

Is the verb form of burglary, burgle or burglarize?

The verb form of burglary can be either burglarize or burgle. "Burglarize," like many verb forms, is made by adding the suffix -ize, and this form is more common in American English. Burgle is a back-formation (a word formed by subtraction of a real or supposed affix from an already existing longer word), and is more common in British English. Both are widely accepted as correct.

Is burglarized a real word?

Yes, it is, and so is burgle. While both variants of the verb, burgle and burglarize, have been disparaged since they entered the language in the middle of the 19th century, both are real words, and both have come to be widely accepted.

Examples of burglarize in a Sentence

the Watergate scandal began when Republican operatives burglarized the Democratic Party's headquarters in Washington, D.C. before they were caught, the thieves had burglarized dozens of houses around the city
Recent Examples on the Web An attempt was also made to burglarize a vacant, former shoe repair business at 1203 S. Prospect Ave. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Burglars target Park Ridge sandwich shop, dental office in South Park commercial area," 17 Nov. 2020 Nevertheless, someone was trying to burglarize it, a caller told 911 well after midnight on a Sunday in Montgomery, Alabama. al, "When police violence is a dog bite," 2 Oct. 2020 Nevertheless, someone was trying to burglarize it, a caller told 911 well after midnight on a Sunday in Montgomery, Alabama. USA Today, "‘Felt like I was being eaten’," 2 Oct. 2020 Deputies went to the Timberlane subdivision near Covington shortly before 2 a.m. after a resident saw two people trying to burglarize his vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Office. Sara Pagones | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Two teens flee St. Tammany deputies at more than 100 mph and hit patrol units, officials say," 30 Aug. 2020 Authorities allege that the pair sought to burglarize the couple before kidnapping them from their home and executing them in the arboretum, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "Mother of Suspect in Murders of Wisc. Doc and Husband in College Arboretum: ‘This is a Nightmare’," 5 Aug. 2020 Police said two unknown men posing as ComEd employees attempted to burglarize the home of an elderly couple in the 31000 block of South Kedzie Avenue in Peotone July 17. Daily Southtown Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Southland crime: Fireworks in a toilet, and more," 12 Aug. 2020 In it, investigators allege that greed motivated Sanford and Larrue, 18, to first burglarize the couple before kidnapping and executing them. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "Wisc. Doctor and Husband Allegedly Killed by 2 Teens: ‘They Both Gave So Much’," 6 Aug. 2020 People break into and burglarize a store in Hollywood. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "Arrests during George Floyd protests swell to near 3,000 in L.A. County; many are locals," 2 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burglarize.' 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 burglarize

1840, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for burglarize

Time Traveler

The first known use of burglarize was in 1840

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Statistics for burglarize

Last Updated

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Burglarize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burglarize. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for burglarize


How to pronounce burglarize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of burglarize

US : to illegally enter (a building) and steal things


transitive verb
bur·​glar·​ize | \ ˈbər-glə-ˌrīz How to pronounce burglarize (audio) \
burglarized; burglarizing

Legal Definition of burglarize

: to commit a burglary at burglarized the apartment

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