[ thee-vish ]
/ ˈθi vɪʃ /
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See synonyms for: thievish / thievishness on Thesaurus.com

given to thieving.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a thief; stealthy: a furtive, thievish look.
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Origin of thievish

1400–50; late Middle English thevisch;see thief, -ish1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does thievish mean?

Thievish 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 thieving can be used to mean the same thing as thievish. The related noun thievery refers to the practice of stealing.

The word thievish can be applied to those who are thought to steal all the time or to live a criminal lifestyle. The word thieving is more commonly used this way, and 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!

Thievish can also be used to describe someone as behaving in a way that’s like a thief in terms of being secretive or stealthy.

Example: He and his thievish accomplishes will soon be caught red-handed during one of their heists.

Where does thievish come from?

The first records of the word thievish come from the 1400s. It’s basically a combination of the word thief and the suffix -ish, meaning “having the characteristics of.”

Thievish and related words like thieve and thievery can sometimes sound a bit old-timey, like they’re out of a classic adventure novel. But thievish can still be used in a modern context, and calling someone thievish is a serious accusation.

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What are some other forms related to thievish?

  • thievishly (adverb)
  • thievishness (noun)
  • thieve (verb)

What are some synonyms for thievish?

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


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

How is thievish used in real life?

Thievish is less commonly used than thieving, which can mean the same thing. Both are typically used to describe a person considered a corrupt criminal.


Try using thievish!

Which of the following people could be described as thievish?

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

How to use thievish in a sentence