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See more synonyms for thieve on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), thieved, thiev·ing.
  1. to take by theft; steal.
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verb (used without object), thieved, thiev·ing.
  1. to act as a thief; commit theft; steal.
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Origin of thieve

before 950; Old English thēofian, derivative of theōf thief (not recorded in ME)
Related formsthiev·ing·ly, adverbout·thieve, verb (used with object), out·thieved, out·thiev·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for thieve

pilfer, filch, rob, swipe, hook, loot

Examples from the Web for thieve

Historical Examples of thieve

  • There will be fences about the fields, and no Indians to thieve and kill.

    The Biography of a Prairie Girl

    Eleanor Gates

  • Let them know,' she said grandly, 'what awaits those who skulk and those who thieve.

  • The leaders will thieve and collaborate with organized crime.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • They break into the wells as rats do into granaries, and thieve the water.

    Song of the Lark

    Willa Cather

  • Only they shall not starve, they shall not thieve, they shall not be sweated.

British Dictionary definitions for thieve


  1. to steal (someone's possessions)
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Derived Formsthievery, noun

Word Origin for thieve

Old English thēofian, from thēof 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 thieve


Old English þeofian, from þeof (see thief). Rare in Old English, not common until 17c. Thieving first attested 1520s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper