to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.
to take, get, or win insidiously, surreptitiously, subtly, or by chance: He stole my girlfriend.
to move, bring, convey, or put secretly or quietly; smuggle (usually followed by away, from, in, into, etc.): They stole the bicycle into the bedroom to surprise the child.
Baseball. (of a base runner) to gain (a base) without the help of a walk or batted ball, as by running to it during the delivery of a pitch.
Games. to gain (a point, advantage, etc.) by strategy, chance, or luck.
to gain or seize more than one's share of attention in, as by giving a superior performance: The comedian stole the show.
to commit or practice theft.
to move, go, or come secretly, quietly, or unobserved: She stole out of the house at midnight.
to pass, happen, etc., imperceptibly, gently, or gradually: The years steal by.
Baseball. (of a base runner) to advance a base without the help of a walk or batted ball.
Informal. an act of stealing; theft.
Informal. the thing stolen; booty.
Informal. something acquired at a cost far below its real value; bargain: This dress is a steal at $40.
Baseball. the act of advancing a base by stealing.
Idioms about steal
steal someone's thunder, to appropriate or use another's idea, plan, words, etc.
The idea of secrecy and concealment is a natural association, as in the words derivative of stel-, such as the noun stealth (Middle English stelthe, stelth, from Germanic stēlithō ), and the verb stalk “to follow or observe secretly or cautiously.” One of the current senses of stalk “to follow or harass someone obsessively over a period of time” dates from the early 1980s.
- steal·a·ble, adjective
- stealer, noun
- non·steal·a·ble, adjective
- outsteal, verb (used with object), out·stole, out·sto·len, out·steal·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use steal in a sentence
Senators heard him exhort his supporters in combat terms that “the election was stolen,” to “stop the steal” and “to fight like hell.”House impeachment managers emphasize the danger to Pence and other top officials in harrowing retelling of Jan. 6 attack | Amy Gardner, Karoun Demirjian, Felicia Sonmez, Paul Kane | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
A 6-0 run with a drop-step layup from Pickett and a steal and dunk from Bile pushed the lead back up to 67-57, and every time Creighton got within true striking distance, Georgetown answered with a defensive stop and basket on the other end.Georgetown’s seniors lead the way in a statement victory over Creighton | Kareem Copeland | February 4, 2021 | Washington Post
Well, I saw the time, score, just tried to get a quick steal .Wizards stun Nets with wild sequence in the final seconds | Ava Wallace | February 1, 2021 | Washington Post
In his NBA debut last December, he put his defensive skills to work on a game-saving steal against the Minnesota Timberwolves.How An Undrafted Rookie Stopped James Harden In The Playoffs | Julian McKenzie | December 7, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
In retrospect, the deal looks like a steal as WhatsApp has become a go-to tool for billions and, more recently, as Facebook lays plans to make it the cornerstone of an e-commerce empire.How the Slack/Salesforce deal stacks up to history’s other Big Tech acquisitions | Jeff | December 3, 2020 | Fortune
In “steal This Episode,” the filmmaker denounces Homer Simpson as an “enemy of art.”Here’s the Lost Judd Apatow ‘Simpsons’ Episode, Penned by Judd Apatow | Asawin Suebsaeng | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
About how much did the group allegedly steal from Mosul banks?Michael Tomasky’s Year-End Quiz: Test Your 2014 News Knowledge | Michael Tomasky | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
When they steal things, they want to get all the bonus points.The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks | M.L. Nestel | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Watch your back Liam Neeson, here comes Kevin Costner to steal your older-leading-man thunder!The Biggest Bombs of 2014: ‘Sex Tape,’ Mariah Carey’s Vocals, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and More | Kevin Fallon | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Murderers tweet in Mexico; a history of Kansas City and did Picasso try to steal the Mona Lisa?7 Must-Read Stories about Mexican Cartels, Kansas City and Picasso: The Best of The Beast | William Boot | October 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
That you did not steal from her house by a secret passage, on the night of the destruction of the opera-house?The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
"I told them there was not an Indian in this village would steal cattle," said Ramona, indignantly.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
The bank did not employ him to steal, but to perform the ordinary banking duties.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
She was thinking she could steal out to the evening service; it might not be so much noticed then, her being alone.Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
Thus one cannot steal from the other; but either is criminally liable for an assault committed on the other.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
British Dictionary definitions for steal
to take (something) from someone, etc without permission or unlawfully, esp in a secret manner
(tr) to obtain surreptitiously
(tr) to appropriate (ideas, etc) without acknowledgment, as in plagiarism
to move or convey stealthily: they stole along the corridor
(intr) to pass unnoticed: the hours stole by
(tr) to win or gain by strategy or luck, as in various sports: to steal a few yards
steal a march on to obtain an advantage over, esp by a secret or underhand measure
steal someone's thunder to detract from the attention due to another by forestalling him
steal the show to be looked upon as the most interesting, popular, etc, esp unexpectedly
the act of stealing
something stolen or acquired easily or at little cost
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