a person who steals, especially secretly or without open force; one guilty of theft or larceny.
- un·der·thief, noun, plural un·der·thieves.
- robber, thief (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use thief in a sentence
The bee thieves come at night, swooping in and bugging out quicker than the wings of the insects they steal.Bee theft is almost a perfect crime—but there’s a new sheriff in town | Andrew Zaleski | February 9, 2021 | Popular-Science
Protestors chanted “Navalny we are with you” and “Putin is a thief!”.'The Whole System Needs Changing.' The Russia Protests Are About More Than Just Alexei Navalny | Madeline Roache | February 5, 2021 | Time
Pretending to be a fur thief, he helped gather evidence leading to the indictment of 24 prison guards.Jack Palladino, aggressive sleuth who worked for Bill Clinton campaign, dies at 76 | Harrison Smith | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
Participants identify the word “wrong” faster when it’s preceded by a strongly associated word like “right” than when it’s preceded by a weakly related word like “thief.”
That’s when an idea hit him — the thief might have stolen the bike because they’re in short supply during the coronavirus pandemic.Today in D.C.: Headlines to start your Monday in D.C., Maryland and Virginia | Teddy Amenabar, Justin Wm. Moyer | January 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Dear thief is worthy of the abused critical adjectives philosophical, atmospheric, and masterful.
Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, and all that.
All a thief had to do was take off the dial knob on the safe and place the little joker on inside of it.
After stealing 97 rare maps, serial map thief E. Forbes Smiley III was caught in the act.
Cole was clearly experimenting with this, the signature curve of his storytelling, while writing Every Day Is for the thief.Teju Cole’s Keen Eye Spares No One—Himself Included | Benjamin Lytal | July 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He had seen the act committed, he felt sure but had made no effort whatever to stop the thief.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
Why should not the thief have simply entered by the window of the study, which like the kitchen, was on the ground floor?The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
Oliver coloured involuntarily to find that the old thief had been reading his thoughts; but boldly said, Yes, he did want to know.Oliver Twist, Vol. II (of 3) | Charles Dickens
The blind man, missing his money, suspected who was the thief; but to accuse him would serve no purpose.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
But, as many people know, and all may believe, running in a crowded London street is difficult—even to an expert London thief.The Garret and the Garden | R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for thief
a person who steals something from another
criminal law a person who commits theft
- thievish, adjective
- thievishly, adverb
- thievishness, noun
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