Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[theev] /θiv/
verb (used with object), thieved, thieving.
to take by theft; steal.
verb (used without object), thieved, thieving.
to act as a thief; commit theft; steal.
Origin of thieve
before 950; Old English thēofian, derivative of theōf thief (not recorded in ME)
Related forms
thievingly, adverb
outthieve, verb (used with object), outthieved, outthieving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for thieve
Historical Examples
  • There will be fences about the fields, and no Indians to thieve and kill.

  • Let them know,' she said grandly, 'what awaits those who skulk and those who thieve.

    For Faith and Freedom Walter Besant
  • The leaders will thieve and collaborate with organized crime.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • They break into the wells as rats do into granaries, and thieve the water.

    Song of the Lark Willa Cather
  • Only they shall not starve, they shall not thieve, they shall not be sweated.

  • At the Bagne, you were in a good school for learning how to thieve?

  • Most of them thieve when they have an opportunity, and this you will have to guard against.

    The Second String Nat Gould
  • I tell you again, I shrank from the horror of hearing you lie, after the horror of seeing you thieve.

    The Moonstone Wilkie Collins
  • I never did such a thing as thieve, Sir, if you'll believe me.

    Dombey and Son Charles Dickens
  • But what of a man who will take a gift with one hand and thieve with the other?

British Dictionary definitions for thieve


to steal (someone's possessions)
Derived Forms
thievery, noun
Word Origin
Old English thēofian, from thēofthief
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for thieve

Old English þeofian, from þeof (see thief). Rare in Old English, not common until 17c. Thieving first attested 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for thieve

Word Value for thieve

Scrabble Words With Friends