THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Origin of theft
OTHER WORDS FROM theftan·ti·theft, adjective
Words nearby theft
What does theft mean?
Theft is the act of stealing. An instance of stealing can also be called a theft.
A person who commits theft is called a thief. The word especially refers to a person who steals in secret and without using force or violence.
In general, intentionally taking something that doesn’t belong to you is theft. The word most commonly refers to the stealing of money or physical property, but theft can involve the stealing of other things, such as personal information (which is called identity theft).
The word theft often refers to a case in which a thief steals something without anyone noticing, at least not when the theft is taking place. In contrast, a case in which a person who steals by using force, violence, or threats of force or violence would more likely be called a robbery. Still, the word theft is used generally to refer to any case of something being stolen. In this way, a robbery is a kind of theft.
Most instances of theft are crimes, but the word can be used to refer to an instance of stealing that wouldn’t get a person arrested. You might call it theft when your sibling steals a cookie from your plate, for example.
Example: I don’t care that he only stole a few things—it’s still theft.
Where does theft come from?
The first records of the word theft come from before the year 900. It comes from the Old English thēofth.
There is no shortage of ways to commit theft. and many of them have a specific name. Petty theft typically involves the habitually stealing of small-time items. Shoplifting is the stealing of products from retail stores. Some thieves steal valuable items. Art theft, jewel theft, and car theft are central to the plot of many movies and shows. Pickpocketing is the theft of things, such as wallets or watches, directly from people’s pockets or from their body.
Burglary involves the theft of valuables from a home or business by breaking in or otherwise unlawfully entering. However, while burglary might be called theft in general, this type of theft is more likely to be labeled as robbery, since it also involves trespassing on someone’s property and invading their space.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to theft?
- antitheft (adjective)
What are some synonyms for theft?
What are some words that share a root or word element with theft?
What are some words that often get used in discussing theft?
How is theft used in real life?
Regardless of what they’re thought to have stolen, accusing a person of theft is serious.
"There is a well-known historical correlation between unemployment and theft,” he said, a connection that is more entrenched in the United States than in countries with more robust safety nets like Canada and Australia."
— A Shady Dame From Seville (@SorayaMcDonald) December 10, 2020
— New York Post (@nypost) December 5, 2020
— Michiana Family Insurance (@MfiInsurance) December 6, 2020
Try using theft!
Which of the following actions could be considered a case of theft?
C. stealing someone’s idea
D. all of the above
Example sentences from the Web for theft
Ellis informed investigators that the alleged theft made his uncle Norman and his “boys” desire to “get up on” Montgomery.‘Sweetie Pie’s’ Murder-For-Hire Possibly Caused After $200K Stolen From Robbie Montgomery’s Home|Hope Wright|September 11, 2020|Essence.com
The horse theft set into motion a series of events that would lead to Bill Gates being ridiculously accused of wanting to implant millions of unwitting Americans with a microchip containing the mark of the beast in 2020.
For instance, people arrested for shoplifting — charged formally with retail theft — now face misdemeanor charges unless they’re accused of stealing at least $1,000 of goods.As Trump Calls for Law and Order, Can Chicago’s Top Prosecutor Beat the Charge That She’s Soft on Crime?|by Mick Dumke|September 4, 2020|ProPublica
In 2017 a jury finds Huawei guilty of “misappropriation” of trade secrets but says the theft wasn’t directed by Huawei.A brief history of US-China espionage entanglements|Konstantin Kakaes|September 3, 2020|MIT Technology Review
The group is responsible for keeping tabs on and reporting to leadership all manner of corporate risks, everything from protests and geopolitical crises to insider threats and trade secret theft.After public outcry, Amazon deletes listings for 2 intelligence jobs that involved tracking ‘labor organizing threats’|rhhackettfortune|September 1, 2020|Fortune
In this way, inspiration becomes appropriation, which leads directly to theft and erasure.
That Kim Jong-un is behind it all—the hack, the theft, the sad red carpet.
The theft, which was over in less than a minute, took place in a North London liquor store.
In no way, he said, did Brown deserve to die for what began as petty theft.
Traitz, it should be noted, has a long criminal history that includes trafficking Oxycodone, ID fraud, theft, and more.Bill Cosby’s Long List of Accusers (So Far): 18 Alleged Sexual Assault Victims Between 1965-2004|Marlow Stern|November 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Yet it is liable for ordinary negligence in protecting passengers from loss by theft.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman|Albert Sidney Bolles
It was there that she suffered the loss by theft of her valuable diamonds, through Charles Crochard, her real lover.
Adultery is an evil only inasmuch as it is a theft; but we do not steal that which is given to us.A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 1 (of 10)|Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
The theft in question was committed at the home of Mlle. Beaumesnil.
This thing called Secession originated in falsehood, theft and perjury.Portrait and Biography of Parson Brownlow, The Tennessee Patriot|William Gannaway Brownlow