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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thieving

Contemporary Examples of thieving

Historical Examples of thieving

  • These thieving propensities made her perfect as a ne'er-do-well.

  • I do not deny that Sir Thomas Picton has described him as a "thieving blackguard."

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini

  • It was Judas Iscariot was saying it first, and you're just thieving it from a thief.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • There was a run against me last night in that thieving place.

  • What he had had the audacity to propose to me had been treason, not thieving.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

British Dictionary definitions for thieving



given to stealing other people's possessions



to steal (someone's possessions)
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 thieving



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper