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See more synonyms for shoplifter on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who steals goods from the shelves or displays of a retail store while posing as a customer.
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Origin of shoplifter

1670–80; obsolete shoplift shoplifter (shop + lift) + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shoplifter

raider, burglar, looter, pickpocket, thief, bandit, crook, swindler, thug, marauder, pirate, mugger, shoplifter, rustler, sniper, criminal, robber, fence, cheat, hijacker

Examples from the Web for shoplifter

Contemporary Examples of shoplifter

Historical Examples of shoplifter

  • Robert Bull'—he read the first name on the list—'Robert Bull, shoplifter.

  • How dexterous are the hands of the shoplifter, but to what a wretched course have they been trained!

  • In New York as soon as one did that she'd be nabbed on the way out for a shoplifter.

  • “Laponi does bear a slight resemblance to the shoplifter,” Rosanna admitted thoughtfully.

  • Two drunks come in with the first batch, and a couple of crooks who had been working the 'elevated'; and a woman, a shoplifter.

    Felix O'Day

    F. Hopkinson Smith

British Dictionary definitions for shoplifter


  1. a person who steals goods from a shop during shopping hours
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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 shoplifter


1670s, from shop (n.) + agent noun of lift (v.). Also in same sense shop-lift (1670s); shop-thief.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper