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bilk

[bilk] /bɪlk/
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
1625-1635
1625-35; of obscure origin
Related forms
bilker, noun
Synonyms
1. swindle, trick, dupe, fleece, rook.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bilker

bilk

/bɪlk/
verb (transitive)
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
noun
5.
a swindle or cheat
6.
a person who swindles or cheats
Derived Forms
bilker, noun
Word Origin
C17: perhaps variant of balk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bilker

bilk

v.

1650s, from or along with the noun (1630s), first used as a cribbage term; as a verb, "to spoil (someone's) score." Origin obscure, it was believed in 17c. to be "a word signifying nothing;" perhaps it s a thinned form of balk "to hinder." Meaning "to defraud" is first recorded 1670s. Related: Bilked; bilking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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