[ per-loin, pur-loin ]
See synonyms for: purloinpurloinedpurloiningpurloiner on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to take dishonestly; steal; filch; pilfer.

verb (used without object)
  1. to commit theft; steal.

Origin of purloin

First recorded in 1325–50; Middle English purloynen, from Anglo-French purloigner, Old French porloigner “to put off, remove,” equivalent to pur- (from Latin prō- pro-1) + -loigner, derivative of loin “at a distance, far off,” from Latin longē “a long way off,” adverb of longus “long” (see origin at long1)

Other words from purloin

  • pur·loin·er, noun
  • un·pur·loined, adjective

Words Nearby purloin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use purloin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for purloin


/ (pɜːˈlɔɪn) /

  1. to take (something) dishonestly; steal

Origin of purloin

C15: from Old French porloigner to put at a distance, from por- for + loin distant, from Latin longus long

Derived forms of purloin

  • purloiner, 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