Definition of bury in English:



  • 1[with object] Put or hide underground.

    ‘he buried the box in the back garden’
    ‘buried treasure’
    • ‘Those who travelled to Ireland may well have sought the protection of their castle at Dundrum and, perhaps, buried their most valuable treasure there.’
    • ‘These pneumatic tubes are to be buried underground, in a large network that sends out food and drinks in all directions.’
    • ‘He was also invited to put a memento, a signed copy of the day's programme, into a time capsule that will be buried in the ground.’
    • ‘But he did not know what the box that had been buried was.’
    • ‘Treasures are buried in unexpected places, and some things that are buried are not considered treasures until revealed.’
    • ‘A burial urn is a specific urn meant for being buried underground, like traditional caskets.’
    • ‘This property-imaging process will help us to look for anything that may be buried below ground.’
    • ‘There is a secret cellar buried under ground which has been bricked up for many years.’
    • ‘There really wasn't much there to begin with, because the plane had hit the ground so hard and was buried underneath the ground for the most part in fragments.’
    • ‘Power cables are to be buried underground, at a cost of #200,000.’
    • ‘In the desperate flee from their homes the Hurworth families had been unable to take everything with them, so buried some treasured possessions under a tree.’
    • ‘Each stone was taken to a different area outside the jungle the tribe lived in and were buried in the ground.’
    • ‘Mr. Flanagan said that in a perfect world there would be no landfills, and waste would be buried five miles underground.’
    • ‘Their base can be buried in the ground and a smaller part remains visible.’
    • ‘The asbestos has to then be put into large, approved bags before being taken away to a landfill tip to be buried underground by the contractors.’
    • ‘In the early 18th century, the bales came to be half buried in the ground circling the ring, similar to the way they are at present.’
    • ‘The later levels of the game are so unbearably evil, that this game really should have been locked in a lead case and buried half a mile underground.’
    • ‘The seeds that were buried in the ground return as new shoots.’
    • ‘Once electrical cables on Beach Road are buried underground, others will follow shortly after, as the process is expected to spread out to other parts of the city.’
    • ‘It was stored at the main farm in large, cool wooden vats of sour whey which were partly buried in the ground.’
    subterranean, subterrestrial, below ground, buried, sunken, lower-level, basement
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    1. 1.1Place (a dead body) in the earth or in a tomb, usually with funeral rites.
      ‘he was buried in St John's churchyard’
      • ‘The dismembered body of Alan Wilson was found buried under garden rubbish at a tenement in the west end of Edinburgh.’
      • ‘The 81-year-old from Great Horton travelled with his daughter to visit battle grounds and cemeteries where his comrades have been buried.’
      • ‘This animal was kept at the Tower, died after only two years and was buried in the grounds, but its story does not end there.’
      • ‘He, along with 10 others are buried in the grounds of the jail and for several years all the families have pushed for the proper burial of their relatives.’
      • ‘I've wanted to be buried in a plain pine box ever since I read that wood bio-degrades at the same rate as the human body.’
      • ‘He had to be buried in unconsecrated ground outside the city walls.’
      • ‘‘At one time they apparently were buried in the ground in some other cemetery and were dug up and taken to the crematory,’ he said.’
      • ‘Her body was found buried in dense undergrowth in Donore, Co Meath, more than three weeks later.’
      • ‘Many veterans of the Civil War were treated there, some of whom are buried in a cemetery on the grounds.’
      • ‘Although a member of one of American's wealthiest and most charitable families, Gwen Grant Mellon was buried in a cardboard box.’
      • ‘Those burying their dead insisting that blood begets blood.’
      • ‘She died October 5, 1952 and is buried here on the grounds of her beloved school.’
      • ‘When I see the faces of families burying their dead, victims of rampant crime, I can only wonder how they must feel to lose loved ones in such circumstances.’
      • ‘When an individual has passed on, many are buried underground in cemeteries.’
      • ‘He says many families are very traditional, with generations having been buried in the same ground.’
      • ‘It's okay, you can go ahead and die now and not have to worry that you'll be buried in a cardboard box.’
      • ‘That, too, is part of burying our dead and moving on.’
      • ‘Billy goes home and prepares a box to bury Old Dan in.’
      • ‘The cemetery was also one of the few cemeteries that allowed stillborn babies to be buried in consecrated ground.’
      • ‘Burial vaults are used to protect a casket or urn once they have been buried in the ground.’
      inter, lay to rest, consign to the grave, entomb
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    2. 1.2Lose (someone, especially a relative) through death.
      ‘a rich old lady who had buried two husbands’
      • ‘In most cases, parents buried their children unaware that organs were missing.’
      • ‘Several years after she buried her husband, she had additional remains cremated and sprinkled at his grave during a graveside service.’
      • ‘But it seems to me that what I am hearing is that, regardless of the details, there is a common thread between moms who have had to bury children.’
      • ‘Edith buried her husband of forty-some years over a decade ago.’
  • 2Cover (someone or something) completely.

    ‘the countryside has been buried under layers of concrete’
    ‘the sheep were buried beneath six-foot drifts of snow’
    • ‘The underground tunnels leading to it have also been buried.’
    • ‘The ceiling collapses right on top of Daniel, burying him beneath the rubble.’
    • ‘Twenty-one skiers had started out that morning from the Chalet; 13 were now buried below.’
    • ‘Jolting along the river-bed-turned-road, I hoped desperately for no rain, realizing that even a shower in Uganda could bury us in mud.’
    • ‘He was soon buried beneath them, still fighting futilely for his life…’
    • ‘He was presumably buried beneath the snow and ice, and he was dead.’
    • ‘Ambitious new proposals for York's vital Castle-Piccadilly area could see the car park at the foot of Clifford's Tower buried underground.’
    • ‘With a start, the white snow suddenly rushed toward his head, and it was buried beneath the layer of ice in no time.’
    • ‘Debris and pieces of glass were falling, burying everything below.’
    • ‘The river thundered below like a chorus of goblin voices, clamoring to snatch me away and bury me beneath the tumult of ice and rock, where no one would ever find me.’
    • ‘The town was rather quickly forgotten and left buried until the 18th century, when excavations began.’
    • ‘She was buried under a thin layer of sand, and she suspected that if she moved, she would find that the sand had crept inside her clothes and would grate against her skin.’
    • ‘The mines are large deposits of crystalline salts formed when ancient seas dried up and were buried underground.’
    • ‘He knew he was buried beneath the rubble, somehow alive, but trapped beneath the pile of rocks that had been upturned around him.’
    • ‘The bulldozer continued to advance, burying her in the pile of rubble before driving over her twice.’
    • ‘While in the undergrowth the bright wrappers would be dirtied by mud and buried by leaves.’
    • ‘It was buried beneath a layer of dead leaves and twigs.’
    • ‘When buried by later sediments, clays can undergo changes in their mineralogy, a process known as diagenesis.’
    • ‘The only survivor of a warehouse collapse yesterday recalled the terrifying moment when sixty tonnes of rubble crashed down on him, burying him and three other men.’
    • ‘You are probably buried in letters from people who are eager to spend money on this new film.’
    hide, conceal, cover, put out of sight, secrete, enfold
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    1. 2.1Hide (something) from sight.
      ‘she buried her face in her hands’
      • ‘His rumpled hair fell lazily onto his forehead and his hands were buried in the pockets of his trousers.’
      • ‘I get up and throw myself at him, burying my face in his jacket, wanting to hide away in this familiarity.’
      • ‘His hands were buried in his pockets the whole time as he looked ahead to the horizon.’
      • ‘She turned her head away from the gruesome sight and buried it against Kreed's chest.’
      • ‘I yanked another tissue from my pocket and buried my head in it.’
      • ‘Amanda took a sharp inhalation of breath before burying her face in Greg's chest, trying to hide from it, but she had seen it anyway.’
      • ‘I could see Alexander cover his nose and his jackal buried its head beneath its paws.’
      • ‘I rolled over, burying my face into the pillow, not hiding my sobs.’
      • ‘Ashley bit her lip and tried to hid her pain by burying her face in Tommy's shoulder, but it was obvious to all the men present that she was in agony.’
      • ‘She chose to hide her face from Adrian's sight, burying it underneath her hands.’
      • ‘The dark-haired boy buried his face further into Sully's neck, answering Sully's sleepy inquiry with a incoherent mumble.’
      • ‘With a spring and a dive, she was buried beneath blankets and pillows.’
      • ‘Just crawl under the cool covers and bury my head in the pillow and sleep like normal people do at this hour.’
      • ‘She buried her face beneath the covers and just lied there, motionless, but thinking.’
      • ‘His hands were buried in his pockets and he wore the same navy sweater that he'd worn the night before.’
      • ‘He still holds the glass in his left hand and struggles, self consciously, unsuccessfully, to bury it into the pocket of his lab coat.’
      • ‘As the man comes closer, you notice he is puffing at a pipe, while the other hand is buried deep in the pocket of his coat.’
      • ‘Ally burst out laughing, burying her head in Trent's shoulder to hide it.’
      • ‘He was soon buried beneath all the clothing and pillows in the room.’
      • ‘She let herself fall into the bed, buried her head beneath the covers, and continued letting tears fall down her face as her body shook and the pillow dampened.’
      hide, cover up, disguise, dissemble, mask, veil
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    2. 2.2Hide or try to forget (a feeling or memory)
      ‘they had buried their feelings of embarrassment and fear’
      • ‘Anna reined in her tears, holding them inside herself, and burying them in the dark place where she knew she was no good.’
      • ‘This will save you lots of grief caused by papers getting mixed up, lost, or buried by other papers.’
      • ‘Apparently the immediate mourning of Otua's passing had disappeared, but Lee could still sense a deeply buried feeling of grief.’
      • ‘We came to learn from our history, but we find it being buried to hide its lessons.’
      • ‘To kill a culture is to cast its individual members into everlasting oblivion, their memories buried with their mortal remains.’
      • ‘By 1991, such childhood memories lay buried in the deep recesses of my mind.’
      • ‘And Agnes has some secrets of her own that the others would just as soon bury and forget.’
      • ‘Indeed for auditors and pension fund managers it has been a week to bury and forget.’
      • ‘I told you there were other stories buried in my memory.’
      • ‘Upon reintroductions and exchanging greetings, we exchanged interesting views and recalled old memories that had been for a very long time buried in our memories.’
      • ‘Having got him the votes the promise was forgotten and quietly buried.’
      • ‘He needed to forget about Elizabeth and bury the love he still felt for her in a grave someplace.’
      • ‘I don't know if anger influences what I do - I think it is too buried beneath my layers of detachment and self-delusion.’
      • ‘If this comes to pass, the tower's historical importance will be buried and forgotten amid crowded shops and indifferent shoppers.’
      • ‘Not that de Crignis disguises or buries his technique.’
      • ‘Today, holding her bundle of joy, she has buried her painful memories.’
      • ‘He opened them and continued on talking about the old times, about memories not long ago buried by sadness and bitterness.’
      • ‘I have painful memories that lie buried and untouched most of the time. It is never easy when they surface.’
      • ‘It was bringing back some memories that she buried deep within her.’
      • ‘Adam looked at Evangeline, her voice was level but in her eyes, for a split second, he could see that there was fear buried in that memory.’
    3. 2.3Involve oneself deeply in something to the exclusion of other concerns.
      ‘he buried himself in work’
      • ‘Does anybody really care if he buys a novel at every airport and buries himself in its pages rather than interacting with the other players on the flights?’
      • ‘They couldn't go rambling about or fishing or playing cricket on the green or burying themselves in books.’
      • ‘Instead of burying themselves in ancient texts, they must understand the irrelevance of those texts to modern politics.’
      • ‘How often have we seen someone bury themselves in work - pushing themselves hard?’
      • ‘At times we lose sight of Jem, as he is buried beneath the politics.’
      • ‘She buries herself in books and takes comfort in being an observer.’
      • ‘I probably buried myself in work on a law review article.’
      • ‘The Flosses bury themselves deeply in denial, while Joe struggles with an unspoken regret.’
      • ‘I gave up gym last year and buried myself in work.’
      • ‘Definitely this is not the time to call in a child psychologist or bury ourselves in academic discussions on the merits and demerits of Freud versus Skinner versus Piaget.’
      • ‘She made excuses not to follow Eliza and Mikelle down to lunch, and buried herself inside her schoolwork.’
      • ‘He's now burying himself in ‘son of Johnston’, the tale of William McEwan, another young Scot similarly engaged in road surveying just five years later, and almost as quickly dead.’
      • ‘The famously reclusive millionaire writer JK Rowling has revealed that even as a child she hid away from the world, burying herself in books and daydreams.’
      • ‘Most people just opened up the reading material they'd brought with them and buried themselves in it.’
      • ‘While many people will deeply bury themselves in the mood of worship on Sunday, the doors will be widely open at Kamwala's Hindu Hall for any person to attend the long-awaited Crossroads national music festival.’
      • ‘Don't be like Halle Berry, burying herself in film projects and vowing never to marry again.’
      • ‘People bury themselves in a totalitarian cause that treats people as mere cogs, or else nasty grit, in a mighty and holy machine.’
      • ‘Off the pitch, he is happy burying himself in his music, while he devotes time to the association of charities he has established.’
      • ‘‘They need to bury themselves in the norm - they need to be doing stuff,’ said Kara Kiewel, the company spokeswoman.’
      • ‘Significantly, in the New York public library, he buries himself in the history of the civil war between North and South.’
      absorb, engross, occupy, engage, busy, employ, distract, preoccupy, immerse, interest, involve
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    4. 2.4informal (of a football player) shoot (the ball) into the goal.
      ‘he ran through to bury a right-foot shot inside the near post’
      • ‘Unmarked and sprinting into the box, LuaLua buries a left-shot past the ‘keeper from about 10 yards.’


  • bury one's head in the sand

    • Ignore unpleasant realities.

      • ‘In the meantime, contemporary British theatre continues to offer an alternative to burying your head in the sand.’
      • ‘Have you ever noticed that no matter how hard you try to make a valid point, a certain opponent will simply bury his/her head in the sand?’
      • ‘Clay Serby's remarks brought quick condemnation from other politicians and farm groups but Serby defended himself by saying that anyone blind to this potential reality is burying their head in the sand.’
      • ‘People are burying their head in the sand because they think it's not happening or affecting them.’
      • ‘Being one of these people who buries their head in the sand and ignores imminent problems, I just pushed myself too far lately and ended up just losing it.’
      • ‘She said she was almost positive Carla knew about this - how could the rumours have missed her - but that she chose to ignore it, burying her head in the sand.’
      • ‘If you don't think you have got a gun crime problem you are burying your head in the sand.’
      • ‘And now I have to get well - properly well - which means no more burying my head in the sand.’
      • ‘I thought being here would've taught you that you can't bury your head in the sand, ignore things that threaten or bother you.’
      • ‘I'm not burying my head in the sand but I really believe that, by reaching our potential, this is a game we can win.’


Old English byrgan, of West Germanic origin; related to the verb borrow and to borough.