or clep·to·ma·ni·a

[ klep-tuh-mey-nee-uh, -meyn-yuh ]
/ ˌklɛp təˈmeɪ ni ə, -ˈmeɪn yə /

noun Psychology.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kleptomania

British Dictionary definitions for kleptomania


/ (ˌklɛptəʊˈmeɪnɪə) /


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

Derived Forms

kleptomaniac, noun

Word Origin for kleptomania

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

Medicine definitions for kleptomania


[ klĕp′tə-mānē-ə, -mānyə ]


An obsessive impulse to steal regardless of economic need, usually arising from an unconscious symbolic value associated with the stolen item.

Related forms

klep′to•mani•ac′ (-nē-ăk′) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture 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.