- to steal, especially in small quantities.
Origin of pilfer
1540–50; v. use of late Middle English pilfre booty < Middle French pelfre. See pelf
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pilferer
Dear Mr. Pilferer,—In answer to your note, I have nothing to say of any interest.
Now we've caught the pilferer, and we'll make an example of her!Complete Short Works
He was no pilferer, and scorned to carry off so mean a booty.American Sketches
Mercury, says he, a pilferer by trade, loves his nails too well to let them be pared.Finger-Ring Lore
What have you done with my piece of writing paper, you pilferer?Dead Souls
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
- to steal (minor items), esp in small quantities
C14 pylfre (n) from Old French pelfre booty; see pelf
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 pilferer
1540s, from pilfer (n.) "spoils, booty," c.1400, from Old French pelfre "booty, spoils" (11c.), of unknown origin, possibly related to pelf. Related: Pilfered; pilfering.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper