See more synonyms for rob on
verb (used with object), robbed, rob·bing.
  1. to take something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence; steal from.
  2. to deprive (someone) of some right or something legally due: They robbed her of her inheritance.
  3. to plunder or rifle (a house, shop, etc.).
  4. 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.
  5. Mining. to remove ore or coal from (a pillar).
verb (used without object), robbed, rob·bing.
  1. to commit or practice robbery.
  1. 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

1175–1225; Middle English robben < Old French robber < Germanic; compare Old High German roubōn. See reave1
Related formsun·robbed, adjective
Can be confusedburglarize mug rip off rob steal (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for rob

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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. 2. defraud, cheat. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for robbing

Contemporary Examples of robbing

Historical Examples of robbing

  • You'll be robbing your friend of nothing, if you speak to her.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Let us, if need be, tell the truth to Evelyn, robbing the truth only of its shame.

  • They were not robbing the consignees in this raid upon the freight train.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • They used to hear about him robbing and burglaring now and then, but that was years ago.

    Tom Sawyer, Detective

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • They were robbing him, the zouaves and chasseurs were plundering his house.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for robbing


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

Word Origin and History for robbing



late 12c., from Old French rober "rob, steal, pillage, ransack, rape," from West Germanic *rauba "booty" (cf. Old High German roubon "to rob," roub "spoil, plunder;" Old English reafian, source of the reave in bereave), from Proto-Germanic *raubon "to rob," from PIE *reup-, *reub- "to snatch" (see rip (v.)).

Lord, hou schulde God approve þat þou robbe Petur, and gif þis robbere to Poule in þe name of Crist? [Wyclif, c.1380]

To rob the cradle is attested from 1864 in reference to drafting young men in the American Civil War; by 1949 in reference to seductions or romantic relationships with younger persons. Related: Robbed; robbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper