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[pik-pok-it] /ˈpɪkˌpɒk ɪt/
a person who steals money, wallets, etc., from the pockets of people, as in crowded public places.
verb (used with object)
to steal (a wallet, money, etc.) in the manner of a pickpocket.
to steal from (a person) in the manner of a pickpocket.
Origin of pickpocket
First recorded in 1585-95; pick1 + pocket Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pickpocket
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her one relation was a brother of high standing as a pickpocket.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • When there is no more to be got out of them, he turns burglar or pickpocket, or robs a temple.

    The Republic Plato
  • More likely because the old chap has no watch and chain for the pickpocket to steal.

  • In the grandest scale he is called a financier; in the meanest, a pickpocket.

  • "Crowd chasing a pickpocket, I imagine," said Trencher indifferently.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • "Say, boss, they've caught the pickpocket—if that's what he was," he cried out excitedly.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • The pickpocket plied his trade, only he was then a cutpurse.

    The History of London Walter Besant
  • His fingers trembled as if they were a pickpocket's near a purse of gold.

    The Fifth Queen Crowned

    Ford Madox Ford
  • "I am no pickpocket," exclaimed the thief, as soon as he saw the officer had him.

    Halsey & Co. H. K. Shackleford
British Dictionary definitions for pickpocket


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
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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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