[ pluhn-der ]
See synonyms for: plunderplunderedplunderingplunders on

verb (used with object)
  1. to rob of goods or valuables by open force, as in war, hostile raids, brigandage, etc.: to plunder a town.

  2. to rob, despoil, or fleece: to plunder the public treasury.

  1. to take wrongfully, as by pillage, robbery, or fraud: to plunder a piece of property.

verb (used without object)
  1. to take plunder; pillage.

  1. plundering, pillage, or spoliation.

  2. that which is taken in plundering; loot.

  1. anything taken by robbery, theft, or fraud.

Origin of plunder

First recorded in 1620–30, plunder is from the Dutch word plunderen

Other words for plunder

Other words from plunder

  • plun·der·a·ble, adjective
  • plun·der·er, noun
  • plun·der·ing·ly, adverb
  • plun·der·ous, adjective
  • un·plun·dered, adjective
  • un·plun·der·ous, adjective
  • un·plun·der·ous·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use plunder in a sentence

  • The noise they made alarmed the plunderer, and he hurried down the ladder as fast as he could.

    Eric, or Little by Little | Frederic W. Farrar
  • They all advanced, therefore, in a body; and the appearance of such a number drove the plunderer from his booty.

    The Fair Maid of Perth | Sir Walter Scott
  • He fully believed that his son had been Chevalier Galban's plunderer, well knowing him to be capable of the act.

    The Green Book | Mr Jkai
  • What at first was obtained by violence was considered by others as lawful to be taken, and a second plunderer succeeded the first.

  • Such a plunderer of beauties would, one cannot but feel, become a great artist if only she possessed some standards.

British Dictionary definitions for plunder


/ (ˈplʌndə) /

  1. to steal (valuables, goods, sacred items, etc) from (a town, church, etc) by force, esp in time of war; loot

  2. (tr) to rob or steal (choice or desirable things) from (a place): to plunder an orchard

  1. anything taken by plundering or theft; booty

  2. the act of plundering; pillage

Origin of plunder

C17: probably from Dutch plunderen (originally: to plunder household goods); compare Middle High German plunder bedding, household goods

Derived forms of plunder

  • plunderable, adjective
  • plunderer, noun
  • plunderous, adjective

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