- to strip ruthlessly of money or goods by open violence, as in war; plunder: The barbarians pillaged every conquered city.
- to take as booty.
- to rob with open violence; take booty: Soldiers roamed the countryside, pillaging and killing.
- the act of plundering, especially in war.
- booty or spoil.
Origin of pillage
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pillage
Will the Obama coalition now forever outvote and and pillage the makers of American wealth?Commentary's Symposium on the Future of Conservatism
January 2, 2013
They will use their majority to pillage the makers and redistribute to the takers.Fellow Conservatives, Ease Off the Doom and Gloom
November 12, 2012
Those who carry out this pillage probably believe they can outrun their own destructiveness.Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco Chronicle Mining Catastrophes in West Virginia
Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco
June 14, 2012
That did not prevent us giving that admirable city up to pillage.My Double Life
The whole city seemed to be abandoned to pillage—to destruction.Beaux and Belles of England
Their disunion, the consequence of their avidity, saved it from ruin, but not from pillage.Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete
According to his own account he had saved the post-office from pillage.The Fortune of the Rougons
This was hostile country, and he gave it over to the Hellenes to pillage.Anabasis
- to rob (a town, village, etc) of (booty or spoils), esp during a war
- the act of pillaging
- something obtained by pillaging; booty
Word Origin and History for pillage
late 14c., "act of plundering" (especially in war), from Old French pilage (14c.) "plunder," from pillier "to plunder, loot, ill-treat," possibly from Vulgar Latin *piliare "to plunder," probably from a figurative use of Latin pilare "to strip of hair," perhaps also meaning "to skin" (cf. figurative extension of verbs pluck, fleece), from pilus "a hair" (see pile (n.3)).
"plunder, despoil," 1590s, from pillage (n.). Related: Pillaged; pillaging. The earlier verb in English was simply pill (late Old English), which probably is from Latin pilare.