To murder by placing something over the mouth of the person
attacked to prevent his giving alarm. So called from Burke, an
Irishman, who used to suffocate his victims and murder them for the
sole purpose of selling the dead bodies to surgeons for dissection.
Hanged at Edinburgh, 1829.
To burke a question.
To strangle it in its birth. The publication was burked
suppressed before it was circulated.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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