the act of a person who steals.
Usually stealings. something that is stolen.


given to or characterized by theft.

Nearby words

  1. steal someone's heart,
  2. steal someone's thunder,
  3. steal the show,
  4. stealage,
  5. stealer,
  6. stealingly,
  7. stealth,
  8. stealth bomber,
  9. stealth tax,
  10. stealth technology

Origin of stealing

1300–50; Middle English steling (gerund). See steal, -ing1, -ing2

Related formssteal·ing·ly, adverb



verb (used with object), stole, sto·len, steal·ing.

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.

verb (used without object), stole, sto·len, steal·ing.

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.

Origin of steal

before 900; 1860–65 for def 5; Middle English stelen, Old English stelan; cognate with German stehlen, Old Norse stela, Gothic stilan

Related formssteal·a·ble, adjectivesteal·er, nounnon·steal·a·ble, adjectiveout·steal, verb (used with object), out·stole, out·sto·len, out·steal·ing.

Can be confusedburglarize mug rip off rob steal (see synonym study at rob)steal steel stele Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stealing

British Dictionary definitions for stealing


verb steals, stealing, stole or stolen

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 stealthilythey stole along the corridor
(intr) to pass unnoticedthe hours stole by
(tr) to win or gain by strategy or luck, as in various sportsto 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

noun informal

the act of stealing
something stolen or acquired easily or at little cost

Word Origin for steal

Old English stelan; related to Old Frisian, Old Norse stela Gothic stilan, German stehlen

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 stealing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for stealing




The diversion of blood flow from its normal course.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.