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
His specialty is bilking governments via the types of companies mentioned.
Bilking money from poor people means that lawsuits are likely, which is net
  unprofitable for casinos.
Benny has been charged with fraud for bilking people in a mail-order scam.
People trying to cure the sick, instead of bilking them for money.
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