[ stohl ]
/ stoʊl /
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simple past tense of steal.
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Other definitions for stole (2 of 2)

[ stohl ]
/ stoʊl /

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of stole?

Stole is the simple past tense form of the verb steal, which means to take something that a person has no right to have. A stole is an article of clothing that resembles a scarf.

If you stole something, you took it without permission or authority needed to make it belong to you. If you stole bread from the store, for example, you took it without paying for it. If you stole someone’s idea, you took it from them without asking first and presented it as yours.

As the past tense of steal, stole can be used in all of the same idioms that steal is used in. If you “stole someone’s thunder,” for example, you used their plan or idea before they could. Likewise, if you paid a very low amount of money for something valuable, you might say that you stole it.

  • Real-life examples: Bonnie and Clyde were a real-life couple who famously stole from banks and stores. Robin Hood was a (probably) fictional outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
  • Used in a sentence: My sister stole my excuse for why I was late so I had to make up something else. 

A stole is an article of clothing that is similar to a scarf or a shaw. It is worn around the neck or draped over one or both shoulders. A stole can be short, covering just the shoulders and upper arms, or long, usually reaching down to about the wearer’s hips. It is typically considered to be an article of women’s clothing, but stoles are worn by male members of the clergy belonging to several different kinds of Christian denominations. For example, Roman Catholic priests (including the Pope) will sometimes wear a stole as part of their holy vestments.

  • Used in a sentence: Lorraine wore her fancy fur stole to the banquet. 

Where does stole come from?

The first records of stole as a verb come from the word steal, which come from before the 900s. It ultimately comes from the Old English stelan.

The first records of stole as a noun come from before 950. It ultimately comes from the Greek stolḗ, meaning “clothing” or “robe.”

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What are some other forms related to stole?

  • steal (present tense verb)

What are some synonyms for stole?

What are some words that share a root or word element with stole?

What are some words that often get used in discussing stole?

How is stole used in real life?

Stole is commonly used as the past tense of “steal.”

Try using stole!

True or False?

If a person stole a car, they took it from someone else without paying for it.

How to use stole in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stole (1 of 2)

/ (stəʊl) /

the past tense of steal

British Dictionary definitions for stole (2 of 2)

/ (stəʊl) /

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
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