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

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 Pack had to watch thieves burglarize the shop on his cellphone on two occasions. Matt Bruce, ajc, 12 Mar. 2022 The sheriff’s office said the three suspects who robbed Golden Gate Petroleum match three suspects who were caught on camera attempting to burglarize the Smoke Shop on Curry Street, about 4 miles away. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 14 Feb. 2022 Barry Croft, a Delaware truck driver whom prosecutors describe as a bomb maker, was convicted in 1994 of conspiring to steal cars and burglarize an apartment complex. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 3 Feb. 2022 The family did not know of anyone who would burglarize their home. cleveland, 6 Jan. 2022 The same man might have tried to burglarize other businesses previously, including a local pizza parlor where security video showed a man crawling on his belly, the station said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 3 Dec. 2021 Investigators said the suspects saw Davey Blackburn, the woman's husband, leave his house and seized the opportunity to also burglarize the Blackburn home. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Dec. 2021 Prosecutors believe Su was home when Resiles tried to burglarize the house. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, 12 Nov. 2021 Witnesses thwarted at least two attempts to burglarize homes in Park Ridge last week, each involving what is believed to be the same car reported near the scene, police said. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 4 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near burglarize

burglar alarm



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Statistics for burglarize

Last Updated

7 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Burglarize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burglarize. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for burglarize


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

More from Merriam-Webster on burglarize

Nglish: Translation of burglarize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burglarize for Arabic Speakers


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