The Meaning of Bury

Explore the various meanings and implications of the word “bury” in different contexts, from literal burials to figurative expressions. Discover how burying emotions, settling disputes, and letting go of the past are all interconnected.


When we think of the word “bury,” we often associate it with the act of laying someone to rest in a grave. However, the concept of bury goes beyond just the physical act of burial. In this article, we will explore the various meanings and implications of the word “bury” in different contexts.

Literal Meaning

At its core, bury refers to the act of placing a dead body in the ground, typically in a grave, as a way of showing respect and honoring the deceased. This age-old tradition is a universal practice across cultures and religions, with specific rituals and customs associated with it.

Figurative Meanings

But bury can also have metaphorical meanings. For example, burying your emotions or burying the past can refer to suppressing feelings or memories deep within oneself, often as a coping mechanism to deal with trauma or difficult situations.

Similarly, burying a hatchet is a common idiom that means to make peace or settle a dispute with someone. The act of burying the hatchet symbolizes letting go of hostility and moving forward with a clean slate.

Examples in Literature

  • In Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet, the protagonist grapples with the idea of burying his sorrows and taking action to avenge his father’s death.
  • In Emily Dickinson’s poem, “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass,” the speaker describes the sensation of burying one’s fear deep within oneself in the face of danger.

Case Studies

One notable case study that illustrates the power of burying the past is the story of Nelson Mandela. Despite spending 27 years in prison for his political beliefs, Mandela was able to bury his bitterness towards his oppressors and lead South Africa towards reconciliation and unity.

Statistics on Burial Practices

According to a survey conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association, approximately 53.8% of Americans opt for traditional burials, while 48.5% choose cremation as a means of final disposition.


In conclusion, the word “bury” holds various meanings and interpretations, ranging from the literal act of burying a body to metaphorical concepts of burying emotions, settling disputes, and letting go of the past. Understanding these nuances can provide insight into the human experience and the ways in which we navigate life and death.

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