bilk

[bilk]
verb (used with object)
1.
to defraud; cheat: He bilked the government of almost a million dollars.
2.
to evade payment of (a debt).
3.
to frustrate: a career bilked by poor health.
4.
to escape from; elude: to bilk one's pursuers.
noun
5.
a cheat; swindler.
6.
a trick; fraud; deceit.

Origin:
1625–35; of obscure origin

bilker, noun


1. swindle, trick, dupe, fleece, rook.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bilk (bɪlk)
 
vb
1.  to balk; thwart
2.  (often foll by of) to cheat or deceive, esp to avoid making payment to
3.  to escape from; elude
4.  cribbage to play a card that hinders (one's opponent) from scoring in his or her crib
 
n
5.  a swindle or cheat
6.  a person who swindles or cheats
 
[C17: perhaps variant of balk]
 
'bilker
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bilk
1650s, from the noun (1630s), first used as a cribbage term. Origin obscure, it was believed in 17c. to be "a word signifying nothing," perhaps of Arabic origin; but it is rather perhaps a thinned form of balk. Meaning "to defraud" is first recorded 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Others are sent in an attempt to bilk money from people to damage reputations.
So many people bilk the system or their employers or whomever and never get
  reviewed.
Suppliers gamble the rewards from future commerce for a short-term gain when
  they bilk their customers.
Until recently, defrauders tried to bilk homeowners out of the equity in their
  homes.
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