• synonyms


See more synonyms for theft on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny.
  2. an instance of this.
  3. Archaic. something stolen.
Show More

Origin of theft

before 900; Middle English; Old English thēfth, thēofth; see thief, -th1; cognate with Old Norse thȳfth, obsolete Dutch diefte
Related formsan·ti·theft, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for theft

fraud, vandalism, piracy, heist, holdup, crime, embezzlement, larceny, thievery, robbery, burglary, break-in, extortion, shoplifting, mugging, looting, snitch, racket, touch, caper

Examples from the Web for theft

Contemporary Examples of theft

Historical Examples of theft

  • It was the first time in many years that one of the employees had been thus accused of theft.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • What has all this to do with the question of theft in the store?

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Was he not a criminal—was he not about to leave his position because of theft?


    W. A. Fraser

  • It was nocturnal in its habits, and somewhat addicted to dancing and the theft of children.

  • The theft of old Galloway's bank-note has been traced to Arthur Channing.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for theft


  1. criminal law the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession
  2. rare something stolen
Show More
Derived Formstheftless, adjective

Word Origin for theft

Old English thēofth; related to Old Norse thӯfth, Old Frisian thiūvethe, Middle Dutch düfte; see thief
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 theft


Old English þeofð (West Saxon þiefð), from Proto-Germanic *theubitho (cf. Old Frisian thiufthe, Old Norse þyfð), from *theubaz "thief" (see thief) + suffix -itha (cognate with Latin -itatem).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper