Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

rob

[rob]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), robbed, rob·bing.
  1. to take something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence; steal from.
  2. to deprive (someone) of some right or something legally due: They robbed her of her inheritance.
  3. to plunder or rifle (a house, shop, etc.).
  4. to deprive of something unjustly or injuriously: The team was robbed of a home run hitter when the umpire called it a foul ball. The shock robbed him of his speech.
  5. Mining. to remove ore or coal from (a pillar).
verb (used without object), robbed, rob·bing.
  1. to commit or practice robbery.
Idioms
  1. rob Peter to pay Paul, to take something from one person or thing to pay one's debt or hypothetical debt to another, as to sacrifice one's health by overworking.

Origin of rob

1175–1225; Middle English robben < Old French robber < Germanic; compare Old High German roubōn. See reave1
Related formsun·robbed, adjective
Can be confusedburglarize mug rip off rob steal (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. Rob, rifle, sack refer to seizing possessions that belong to others. Rob is the general word for taking possessions by unlawful force or violence: to rob a bank, a house, a train. A term with a more restricted meaning is rifle, to make a thorough search for what is valuable or worthwhile, usually within a small space: to rifle a safe. On the other hand, sack is a term for robbery on a huge scale during war; it suggests destruction accompanying pillage, and often includes the indiscriminate massacre of civilians: to sack a town or district. 2. defraud, cheat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for rob peter to pay paul

rob

verb robs, robbing or robbed
  1. (tr) to take something from (someone) illegally, as by force or threat of violence
  2. to plunder (a house, shop, etc)
  3. (tr) to deprive unjustlyto be robbed of an opportunity
Derived Formsrobber, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French rober, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German roubōn to rob
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 rob peter to pay paul

rob

v.

late 12c., from Old French rober "rob, steal, pillage, ransack, rape," from West Germanic *rauba "booty" (cf. Old High German roubon "to rob," roub "spoil, plunder;" Old English reafian, source of the reave in bereave), from Proto-Germanic *raubon "to rob," from PIE *reup-, *reub- "to snatch" (see rip (v.)).

Lord, hou schulde God approve þat þou robbe Petur, and gif þis robbere to Poule in þe name of Crist? [Wyclif, c.1380]

To rob the cradle is attested from 1864 in reference to drafting young men in the American Civil War; by 1949 in reference to seductions or romantic relationships with younger persons. Related: Robbed; robbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rob peter to pay paul in Culture

rob Peter to pay Paul

To harm one person in order to do good to another; by extension, to use money or resources set aside for one purpose for a different one.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with rob peter to pay paul

rob Peter to pay Paul

Take from one to give to another, shift resources. For example, They took out a second mortgage on their house so they could buy a condo in Florida—they're robbing Peter to pay Paul. Although legend has it that this expression alludes to appropriating the estates of St. Peter's Church, in Westminster, London, to pay for the repairs of St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1800s, the saying first appeared in a work by John Wycliffe about 1382.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.