verb (used with object), bur·ied, bur·y·ing.
- to put in the ground and cover with earth: The pirates buried the chest on the island.
- to put (a corpse) in the ground or a vault, or into the sea, often with ceremony: They buried the sailor with full military honors.
- to plunge in deeply; cause to sink in: to bury an arrow in a target.
- to cover in order to conceal from sight: She buried the card in the deck.
- to immerse (oneself): He buried himself in his work.
- to put out of one’s mind: to bury an insult.
- to consign to obscurity; cause to appear insignificant by assigning to an unimportant location, position, etc.: Her name was buried in small print at the end of the book.
noun, plural bur·ies.
- Nautical. housing1(def 8a, b).
- bury one’s head in the sand, to avoid reality; ignore the facts of a situation: You cannot continue to bury your head in the sand—you must learn to face facts.
- bury the hatchet, to become reconciled or reunited.
- a town in NW England, in Bury unitary authority, Greater Manchester: an early textile centre. Pop: 60 178 (2001)
- a unitary authority in NW England, in Greater Manchester. Pop: 181 900 (2003 est). Area: 99 sq km (38 sq miles)
verb buries, burying or buried (tr)
- to place (a corpse) in a grave, usually with funeral rites; inter
- to place in the earth and cover with soil
- to lose through death
- to cover from sight; hide
- to embed; sinkto bury a nail in plaster
- to occupy (oneself) with deep concentration; engrossto be buried in a book
- to dismiss from the mind; abandonto bury old hatreds
- bury the hatchet to cease hostilities and become reconciled
- bury one’s head in the sand to refuse to face a problem
Old English byrgan “to raise a mound, hide, bury, inter,” akin to beorgan “to shelter,” from Proto-Germanic *burzjan- “protection, shelter” (cf. Old Saxon bergan, Dutch bergen, Old Norse bjarga, Swedish berga, Old High German bergan “protect, shelter, conceal,” German bergen, Gothic bairgan “to save, preserve”), from PIE root *bhergh- “protect, preserve” (cf. Old Church Slavonic brego “I preserve, guard”). Related: Buried; burying. Burying-ground “cemetery” attested from 1711.
The Old English -y- was a short “oo” sound, like modern French -u-. Under normal circumstances it transformed into Modern English -i- (e.g. bridge, kiss, listen, sister), but in bury and a few other words (e.g. merry, knell) it retained a Kentish change to “e” that took place in the late Old English period. In the West Midlands, meanwhile, the Old English -y- sound persisted, slightly modified over time, giving the standard modern pronunciation of blush, much, church.