simple past tense of steal.




an ecclesiastical vestment consisting of a narrow strip of silk or other material worn over the shoulders or, by deacons, over the left shoulder only, and arranged to hang down in front to the knee or below.Compare tippet(def 2).
a woman's shoulder scarf of fur, marabou, silk, or other material.Compare tippet(def 1).
a long robe, especially one worn by the matrons of ancient Rome.

Origin of stole

before 950; Middle English, Old English < Latin stola < Greek stolḗ clothing, robe; akin to Greek stéllein to array, Old English stellan to place, put



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 stole

Contemporary Examples of stole

Historical Examples of stole

  • No; I stole one of the ship's boats, and came for you without leave.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Night fell, and Harriet stole forth to the place designated.

  • I beg, I beseech, I implore you, help me and show me the man that stole it.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • Yes, they stole him from old Walters; made him believe the horse was no good.


    W. A. Fraser

  • I have never taken anything that did not belong to me, and yet they stole all I had.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for stole




the past tense of steal




a long scarf or shawl, worn by women
a long narrow scarf worn by various officiating clergymen

Word Origin for stole

Old English stole, from Latin stola, Greek stolē clothing; related to stellein to array


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 stole

Old English stole "long robe, scarf-like garment worn by clergymen," from Latin stola "robe, vestment," from Greek stole "a long robe;" originally "garment, equipment," from root of stellein "to place, array," with a secondary sense of "to put on" robes, etc., from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand" (see stall (n.1)). Meaning "women's long garment of fur or feathers" is attested from 1889.



Old English stelan "to commit a theft" (class IV strong verb; past tense stæl, past participle stolen), from Proto-Germanic *stelanan (cf. Old Saxon stelan, Old Norse, Old Frisian stela, Dutch stelen, Old High German stelan, German stehlen, Gothic stilan), of unknown origin.

Most IE words for steal have roots in notions of "hide," "carry off," or "collect, heap up." Attested as a verb of stealthy motion from c.1300 (e.g. to steal away, late 14c.); of glances, sighs, etc., from 1580s. To steal (someone) blind first recorded 1974.



"a bargain," by 1942, American English colloquial, from steal (v.). Baseball sense of "a stolen base" is from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for stole




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.