thief

[ theef ]
/ θif /

noun, plural thieves.

a person who steals, especially secretly or without open force; one guilty of theft or larceny.

Origin of thief

before 900; Middle English; Old English thēof; cognate with Dutch dief, German Dieb, Old Norse thjōfr, Gothic thiufs

SYNONYMS FOR thief

burglar, pickpocket, highwayman. Thief, robber refer to one who steals. A thief takes the goods or property of another by stealth without the latter's knowledge: like a thief in the night. A robber trespasses upon the house, property, or person of another, and makes away with things of value, even at the cost of violence: A robber held up two women on the street.

Related forms

un·der·thief, noun, plural un·der·thieves.

Can be confused

burglar mugger robber thief (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thief

British Dictionary definitions for thief

thief

/ (θiːf) /

noun plural thieves (θiːvz)

a person who steals something from another
criminal law a person who commits theft

Derived Forms

thievish, adjectivethievishly, adverbthievishness, noun

Word Origin for thief

Old English thēof; related to Old Frisian thiāf, Old Saxon thiof, Old High German diob, Old Norse thjōfr, Gothic thiufs
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