1 : to break into and steal from
2 : to commit burglary against
The broken window alerted the security guard that the office may have been burgled.
"Residents … had long been complaining about a surge in crime. One area resident tells Newsweek her house had been burgled a few years ago while she and her husband were inside." — Jeff Stein, Newsweek, 16 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
Burglary, which means "forcible entry into a building especially at night with the intent to commit a crime (such 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. 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 both now generally accepted. Burglarize is more common in American English, whereas burgle is preferred in British English.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of burglar: p _ c _ lo _ _.VIEW THE ANSWER
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