[ pil-fer ]
See synonyms for: pilferpilferedpilferingpilferer on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with or without object)
  1. to steal, especially in small quantities.

Origin of pilfer

1540–50; v. use of late Middle English pilfre booty <Middle French pelfre.See pelf

Other words for pilfer

Other words from pilfer

  • pil·fer·er, noun
  • un·pil·fered, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pilfer in a sentence

  • Before evening, the women went all on shore, and the men began to be troublesome and pilfering.

    Voyage of H.M.S. Pandora | Edward Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for pilfer


/ (ˈpɪlfə) /

  1. to steal (minor items), esp in small quantities

Origin of pilfer

C14 pylfre (n) from Old French pelfre booty; see pelf

Derived forms of pilfer

  • pilferer, noun
  • pilfering, 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