or clep·to·ma·ni·a

[ klep-tuh-mey-nee-uh, -meyn-yuh ]

  1. an irresistible impulse to steal, stemming from emotional disturbance rather than economic need.

Origin of kleptomania

1820–30; klepto- (combining form of Greek kléptēs thief) + -mania

Words Nearby kleptomania

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use kleptomania in a sentence

  • Its exercise would probably be classed with kleptomania and other like excesses of purely personal consideration.

    The Soul of the Far East | Percival Lowell
  • Another periodical insanity is kleptomania, in which insane stealing occurs at intervals of greater or lesser regularity.

    Degeneracy | Eugene S. Talbot
  • He is as yet not ready to agree that some sex difficulty is the only conflict back of kleptomania.

  • The awful impulse of kleptomania alone seemed to explain but scarcely palliate his first offence against society.

    The Streets of Ascalon | Robert W. Chambers
  • I recollect how there used to be a regular little joke at her expense on the subject of kleptomania.

    She and I, Volume 1 | John Conroy Hutcheson

British Dictionary definitions for kleptomania


/ (ˌklɛptəʊˈmeɪnɪə) /

  1. psychol a strong impulse to steal, esp when there is no obvious motivation

Origin of kleptomania

C19: klepto- from Greek kleptēs thief, from kleptein to steal + -mania

Derived forms of kleptomania

  • kleptomaniac, noun

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

Cultural definitions for kleptomania


[ (klep-tuh-may-nee-uh) ]

A compulsion to steal, usually without either economic need or personal desire.

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.