[ stee-ling ]
/ ˈsti lɪŋ /


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


given to or characterized by theft.

Origin of stealing

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

Related forms

steal·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for stealing (2 of 2)


[ steel ]
/ stil /

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

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


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 forms

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

Can be confused

burglarize mug rip off rob steal (see synonym study at rob)steal steel stele

Word story

Steal and its kindred words come from the Germanic root stel- “to rob, steal” (as in Gothic stilan, Old English, Old Frisian, Old High German stelan, German stehlen ); the root has no certain relatives outside Germanic.
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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stealing

British Dictionary definitions for stealing


/ (stiːl) /

verb steals, stealing, stole or stolen

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

Medicine definitions for stealing


[ stēl ]


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.