- Rhymes: -ɜː(r)ɡəl
- (chiefly Australia, Britain, New Zealand) to commit burglary. [from 1867]
1867 August 24, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, page 8:
- The New York World has coined a new verb -- "to burgle."
1868 February 13, Louisville Daily Courier, Louisvile, KY, page 4:
- The language grows apace. A "cablegram" has been received, and $400 have been "burgled."
1868, John Brougham, Much Ado About a Merchant of Venice, New York: Samuel French, page 13:
- Burgled his safe and bolted with the tin.
1869, Joanna H. Mathews, Bessie at School, London: James Nisbet & Co., page 183:
- [S]he went and burgled three pears out of the dish ...
1870 February 5, “American Slangography”, in Punch, London, page 44:
- Conceive the Great Lexicographer admitting to his Dictionary such excrescencies as: "Burgle, verb active, To break into a dwelling-house,"
1872, M. Schele De Vere, Americanisms: The English of the New World, New York: Charles Scribner, page 587:
- Burglarize, to, a term creeping into journalism. ... The word has a dangerous rival in the shorter burgle.
1873 April 21, Albert Julius Mott, “Inaugural Address”, in Proceedings of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool, volume xxvii, London: Longman, Greens, Reader & Dyer, page 30:
- When an American says, "I've been burgled" -- where an Englishman would say, "My house has been broken into by thieves" -- he succeeds in shortening the statement by more than half ...
1892, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Beryl Coronet”, in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2011:
- Well, I hope to goodness the house won’t be burgled during the night.
- (Britain, sports) To take the ball legally from an opposing player.
2011 September 18, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 41-10 Georgia”, in BBC Sport:
- And when scrum-half Ben Youngs, who had a poor game, was burgled by opposite number Irakli Abuseridze and the ball shipped down the line to Irakli Machkhaneli, it looked like Georgia had scored a try of their own, but the winger's foot was in touch.
to commit burglary