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90s Slang You Should Know


[per-loin, pur-loin] /pərˈlɔɪn, ˈpɜr lɔɪn/
verb (used with object)
to take dishonestly; steal; filch; pilfer.
verb (used without object)
to commit theft; steal.
Origin of purloin
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English purloynen < Anglo-French purloigner to put off, remove, equivalent to pur- (< Latin prō- pro-1) + -loigner, derivative of loin at a distance, far off < Latin longē
Related forms
purloiner, noun
unpurloined, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for purloin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I knew you had great faults, but I did not dream that you would stoop so low as to purloin money, as it seems you have done.

    Hector's Inheritance Horatio Alger
  • He must purloin it before then—that very night, if possible.

    The Burglars' Club Henry A. Hering
  • Why didn't they purloin a beer-stein, quiescent on a japanned tray?

    My Actor-Husband Anonymous
  • The great object is to purloin it by force or by fraud from those who have created it.

  • Larry hit the ball on the seam for a single, but was caught a moment later in trying to purloin second.

    Baseball Joe, Home Run King Lester Chadwick
  • I managed to purloin a lantern from the kitchen to light our path.

    Our Next-Door Neighbors Belle Kanaris Maniates
  • The lady referred to took it upon herself to purloin the flower she wanted.

  • When I did first purloin the Queen's tarts last summer, methought to eat them.

  • Roger assures us he did not purloin any part of the treasure, for which he takes infinite credit to himself.

    Atrocious Judges John Campbell, Baron Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for purloin


to take (something) dishonestly; steal
Derived Forms
purloiner, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French porloigner to put at a distance, from por- for +loin distant, from Latin longus long
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 purloin

mid-14c., "remove, misappropriate," from Anglo-French purloigner "remove," Old French porloigner "put off, retard, delay, drag out; be far away," from por- (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pro-) + Old French loing "far," from Latin longe, from longus (see long (adj.)). Sense of "to steal" (1540s) is a development in English. Related: Purloined; purloining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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