sneak thief


a burglar who sneaks into houses through open doors, windows, etc.

Origin of sneak thief

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sneak thief

thief, dipper, finger, cutpurse

Examples from the Web for sneak thief

Historical Examples of sneak thief

  • Like a sneak-thief, too, emerges a shock-headed navigator in his shirt-sleeves.

    With The Night Mail

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The lover who seeks to be liberal is a hypocrite, a sneak-thief robbing his own heart.

    The Jucklins

    Opie Read

  • Perhaps it was a sneak-thief who has stolen the ax or the saw from the woodshed.

    The Young Bridge-Tender

    Arthur M. Winfield

  • "Out with you, you sneak-thief; I am not afraid of you," Karl cried again.

    The Devil

    Joseph O'Brien

  • More than that, he has the sly and stealthy manners of the sneak-thief and the brigand.

    Birds of the Rockies

    Leander Sylvester Keyser

British Dictionary definitions for sneak thief

sneak thief


a person who steals paltry articles from premises, which he enters through open doors, windows, etc
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