[ pil-ij ]
/ ˈpɪl ɪdʒ /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: pillage / pillager on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), pil·laged, pil·lag·ing.

to strip ruthlessly of money or goods by open violence, as in war; plunder: The barbarians pillaged every conquered city.
to take as booty.

verb (used without object), pil·laged, pil·lag·ing.

to rob with open violence; take booty: Soldiers roamed the countryside, pillaging and killing.


the act of plundering, especially in war.
booty or spoil.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of pillage

1350–1400; Middle English pilage (see pill3, -age), modeled on Middle French pillage (derivative of piller to pillage, originally, to abuse, mistreat, tear, of uncertain origin)
pil·lag·er, nounun·pil·laged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for pillage

/ (ˈpɪlɪdʒ) /


to rob (a town, village, etc) of (booty or spoils), esp during a war


the act of pillaging
something obtained by pillaging; booty
pillager, noun
C14: via Old French from piller to despoil, probably from peille rag, from Latin pīleus felt cap
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
What's This Word?