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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 filching
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And as to filching, let me tell you that all your property at Crom is intact.

  • And how pitiable the spirit that prompted to a filching of half-crowns!

    In the Year of Jubilee George Gissing
  • The Doctor was more than displeased when he heard from Halsey of the filching of the gold.

  • I shall teach him a lesson for filching hens or cocks!Doctor Rat.

    Gammer Gurton's Needle Mr. S. Mr. of Art
  • Then, addressing the child, she said, "What do folks mean when they talk of filching?"

  • That brigand, said he aside, is capable of filching all my game.

    Devil Stories Various
  • It carries duties with it, duties which are imperative and which to shirk is filching benefits without rendering an equivalent.

  • For upwards of a year and a-half the native paper went on filching news, and writing in the above strain.

  • With him were the two men who had played such a prominent part in the filching of the wallet belonging to Major Dangerfield.

    The Boy Scouts' Mountain Camp

    John Henry Goldfrap
British Dictionary definitions for filching


(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 filching



"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 filching



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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