• synonyms


[per-loin, pur-loin]
See more synonyms for purloin on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to take dishonestly; steal; filch; pilfer.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to commit theft; steal.
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Origin of purloin

1400–50; late Middle English purloynen < Anglo-French purloigner to put off, remove, equivalent to pur- (< Latin prō- pro-1) + -loigner, derivative of loin at a distance, far off < Latin longē
Related formspur·loin·er, nounun·pur·loined, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for purloiner

bandit, burglar, cheat, clip, criminal, crook, highwayman, hijacker, kleptomaniac, mugger, pickpocket, pilferer, pirate, plunderer, prowler, robber, sniper, stealer, swindler, embezzler

Examples from the Web for purloiner

Historical Examples of purloiner

  • At night the purloiner marched to his plunder, and she revived.

    The Queer, the Quaint and the Quizzical

    Frank H. Stauffer

  • I have strong doubts of his being the purloiner of the sword.

  • The purloiner of a clerk's property was ordered to restore threefold .

    The Parish Clerk (1907)

    Peter Hampson Ditchfield

  • Was not the purloiner of my treasure and the wanderer the same person?

    Edgar Huntley

    Charles Brockden Brown

  • The purloiner nodded, and his lips twisted into a smile of triumph, as he thrust the sheet of paper into his own pocket.

    The Roof Tree

    Charles Neville Buck

British Dictionary definitions for purloiner


  1. to take (something) dishonestly; steal
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Derived Formspurloiner, noun

Word Origin for purloin

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



mid-14c., "remove, misappropriate," from Anglo-French purloigner "remove," Old French porloigner "put off, retard, delay, drag out; be far away," from por- (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pro-) + Old French loing "far," from Latin longe, from longus (see long (adj.)). Sense of "to steal" (1540s) is a development in English. Related: Purloined; purloining.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper