[ rob ]
/ rɒb /
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verb (used with object), robbed, rob·bing.
to take something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence; steal from.
to deprive (someone) of some right or something legally due: They robbed her of her inheritance.
to plunder or rifle (a house, shop, etc.).
to deprive of something unjustly or injuriously: The team was robbed of a home run hitter when the umpire called it a foul ball. The shock robbed him of his speech.
Mining. to remove ore or coal from (a pillar).
verb (used without object), robbed, rob·bing.
to commit or practice robbery.
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Idioms about rob

    rob Peter to pay Paul, to take something from one person or thing to pay one's debt or hypothetical debt to another, as to sacrifice one's health by overworking.

Origin of rob

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English robben, from Old French robber, from Germanic; compare Old High German roubōn.See reave1

synonym study for rob

1. Rob, rifle, sack refer to seizing possessions that belong to others. Rob is the general word for taking possessions by unlawful force or violence: to rob a bank, a house, a train. A term with a more restricted meaning is rifle, to make a thorough search for what is valuable or worthwhile, usually within a small space: to rifle a safe. On the other hand, sack is a term for robbery on a huge scale during war; it suggests destruction accompanying pillage, and often includes the indiscriminate massacre of civilians: to sack a town or district.


un·robbed, adjective


burglarize, mug, rip off, rob , steal

Other definitions for rob (2 of 2)

[ rob ]
/ rɒb /

a male given name, form of Robert.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does rob mean?

To rob is to steal, especially by force or through threats of violence.

A person who robs is called a robber, and the act of robbing is called robbery.

A robber can rob a person or a place, such as a house or business. The act of robbing a person on the street is often called mugging. The act of robbing a bank is called bank robbery and a person who does it is called a bank robber. Armed robbery involves robbing a person or place while armed with a weapon.

Rob and steal are often used interchangeably in terms of their general meaning, but their use within a sentence often differs. The word rob often focuses on the victim of the theft (whether it’s a person or a place), whereas steal often focuses on what has been stolen. So you can rob a bank, a person, or a house, whereas you steal money, diamonds, or cars. A bank robber doesn’t steal banks (unless they’re Carmen Sandiego, maybe)—they steal money from banks.

However, the word rob is sometimes followed by the word of and the thing that’s been taken, as in She robbed me of thousands of dollars! 

The word rob can also be used in a kind of figurative way meaning to unfairly deprive someone of something, especially something abstract or intangible. If someone prevents you from doing something, you can say they robbed you of the chance to do it. Death is said to rob us of our loved ones. If someone loses a competition not because they were fairly defeated but because of some technicality, they might say “I was robbed!”

Unrelatedly, the name Rob is short for Robert.

Example: The suspect is accused of robbing seven banks during a three-month period.

Where does rob come from?

The first records of the verb rob come from around 1200. It comes from the Middle English robben, meaning “to rob.”

The word rob is used in several idioms, some of which use it in a literal sense and some of which use it in a figurative sense. To rob the till is to steal from one’s employer, such as by taking money from the cash register (a till is a money drawer). To rob someone blind is to steal a lot of money or other things from them or to thoroughly cheat them out of something through deception. To rob Peter to pay Paul is to take money or resources that are intended for one thing and apply them to another. An example is getting a loan from one person in order to pay a debt to another person, or taking resources from one department in a company to benefit another.

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How is rob used in real life?

Both the literal and figurative senses of rob are commonly used.

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Is rob used correctly in the following sentence?

“This disease has robbed me of my sight, but not my dignity.”

How to use rob in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rob

/ (rɒb) /

verb robs, robbing or robbed
(tr) to take something from (someone) illegally, as by force or threat of violence
to plunder (a house, shop, etc)
(tr) to deprive unjustlyto be robbed of an opportunity

Derived forms of rob

robber, noun

Word Origin for rob

C13: from Old French rober, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German roubōn to rob
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