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[filch] /fɪltʃ/
verb (used with object)
to steal (especially something of small value); pilfer:
to filch ashtrays from fancy restaurants.
Origin of filch
1250-1300; Middle English filchen to attack (in a body), take as booty, Old English fylcian to marshal (troops), draw (soldiers) up in battle array, derivative of gefylce band of men; akin to folk
Related forms
filcher, noun
filchingly, adverb
unfilched, adjective
purloin, take, swipe, lift, snaffle, pinch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for filch
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You are to receive the money, and share it with the scoundrel who intends to filch it from me.

    Freaks of Fortune Oliver Optic
  • He was ashamed that he had permitted the years that had gone to filch so much from him.

    A Handful of Stars Frank W. Boreham
  • The knave might filch his treasures; he was heedless of the knave.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • So you filch sixpence out of my purse while I'm taking the clothes in.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • Come, filch, you shall go with me into my own Room, and tell me the whole Story.

  • He has it hidden in some secret place, from which not even a Zamorian thief might filch it.

    The Hour of the Dragon Robert E. Howard
  • The Canting Dictionary is nothing more than a filch from earlier books.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • Sounded like a chemical they might filch from the highschool laboratory.

    Brown John's Body Winston Marks
  • Stealthily, as though we were trying to filch some victory, we crept forward.

    My Attainment of the Pole Frederick A. Cook
British Dictionary definitions for filch


(transitive) to steal or take surreptitiously in small amounts; pilfer
Derived Forms
filcher, noun
Word Origin
C16 filchen to steal, attack, perhaps from Old English gefylce band of men
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for filch

"steal," 1560s, slang, perhaps from c.1300 filchen "to snatch, take as booty," of unknown origin. Liberman says filch is probably from German filzen "comb through." Related: Filched; filching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for filch



To steal or grab something from someone: filched the remote control

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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