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(1868) back-formation from burglar.



burgle (third-person singular simple present burgles, present participle burgling, simple past and past participle burgled)

  1. (chiefly Australia, Britain, New Zealand) to commit burglary.
    • 1868 February 13, Louisville Daily Courier[1], 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[2], New York: Samuel French, page 13:
      Burgled his safe and bolted with the tin.
    • 1870 February 5, “American Slangography”, in Punch[3], 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[4], New York: Charles Scribner, page 587:
      Burglarize, to, a term creeping into journalism. ... The word has a dangerous rival in the shorter burgle.
    • 1892, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Beryl Coronet”, in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes[5], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2011:
      Well, I hope to goodness the house won’t be burgled during the night.
  2. (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[6]:
      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.



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