/ (ˈθiːvɪŋ) /
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given to stealing other people's possessions
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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


What does thieving mean?

Thieving is used to describe a person who is thought to be prone to being a thief, especially as part of a pattern of behavior.

The verb thieve means to steal or commit theft. The word thievish can be used to mean the same thing as thieving. The related noun thievery refers to the practice of stealing.

The words thief and theft are often used in situations in which a person steals in secret and without using force or violence. However, the words thieve, thieving, and thievery are used in the context of all kinds of thefts, even violent ones.

The word thieving is typically applied to those who are thought to steal all the time or to live a criminal lifestyle. Thieving is often paired with other negative adjectives to describe someone as a dishonest and corrupt criminal, as in They are nothing but a bunch of lying, scheming, thieving criminals!

Example: Come back here, you lying, thieving rapscallion!

Where does thieving come from?

The first records of the word thieving as an adjective come from around 1600. Its base word, the verb thieve, comes from the Old English thēofian.

Thieve and related words like thievery and thieving can sometimes sound a bit old-timey, like they’re out of a classic adventure novel. However, thieving is still used in modern contexts, and it’s often followed by very negative words to refer to the person that the speaker considers a no-good, thieving thief.

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What are some other forms related to thieving?

What are some synonyms for thieving?

What are some words that share a root or word element with thieving


What are some words that often get used in discussing thieving?

How is thieving used in real life?

Thieving is often paired with other negative adjectives to describe a person considered a corrupt criminal.


Try using thieving!

Which of the following people could be described as thieving?

A. con artist
B. pickpocket
C. bank robber
D. all of the above

How to use thieving in a sentence