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 formsun·der·thief, noun, plural un·der·thieves.
Can be confusedburglar mugger robber thief (see synonym study at the current entry)

Definition for thieves (2 of 2)

thieve

[ theev ]
/ θiv /

verb (used with object), thieved, thiev·ing.

to take by theft; steal.

verb (used without object), thieved, thiev·ing.

to act as a thief; commit theft; steal.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for thieves

British Dictionary definitions for thieves (1 of 2)

thieve

/ (θiːv) /

verb

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

Word Origin for thieve

Old English thēofian, from thēof thief

British Dictionary definitions for thieves (2 of 2)

thief

/ (θiːf) /

noun plural thieves (θiːvz)

a person who steals something from another
criminal law a person who commits theft
Derived Formsthievish, 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