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  1. a person who steals money, wallets, etc., from the pockets of people, as in crowded public places.
verb (used with object)
  1. to steal (a wallet, money, etc.) in the manner of a pickpocket.
  2. to steal from (a person) in the manner of a pickpocket.

Origin of pickpocket

First recorded in 1585–95; pick1 + pocket
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pickpocket


  1. a person who steals from the pockets or handbags of others in public places
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

Word Origin and History for pickpocket


also pick-pocket, 1590s, from pick (v.) + pocket (n.). Earlier was pick-purse (late 14c.). As a verb from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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