- 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 pillager
The Crown Prince has been pictured as a libertine and a pillager.Face to Face with Kaiserism
James W. Gerard
I appear as the benefactor, and not as the pillager, of the Indians.The Conquest
Eva Emery Dye
This seems to refer to the profession of brigand and pillager.
Is she a poacher, a pillager of other's property, or a genuine huntress?More Hunting Wasps
J. Henri Fabre
You are the Eletto of Aalst, the pillager of cities, and this cannot be swept aside as easily as the dust from the floor.A Word Only A Word, Complete
- 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 pillager
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.