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pilfer

play
verb pil·fer \ˈpil-fər\

Simple Definition of pilfer

  • : to steal things that are not very valuable or to steal a small amount of something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pilfer

pilferedpilfering play \-f(ə-)riŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  steal; especially :  to steal stealthily in small amounts and often again and again

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  steal; especially :  to steal in small quantities

pilferable play \-f(ə-)rə-bəl\ adjective
pilferage play \-f(ə-)rij\ noun
pilferer play \-fər-ər\ noun
pilferproof play \-ˌprüf\ adjective

Examples of pilfer in a sentence

  1. She pilfered stamps and paper from work.

  2. <what sort of person would pilfer lunches from the office refrigerator?>



Origin of pilfer

Middle French pelfrer, from pelfre booty


First Known Use: circa 1548

Synonym Discussion of pilfer

steal, pilfer, filch, purloin mean to take from another without right or without detection. steal may apply to any surreptitious taking of something and differs from the other terms by commonly applying to intangibles as well as material things <steal jewels> <stole a look at the gifts>. pilfer implies stealing repeatedly in small amounts <pilfered from his employer>. filch adds a suggestion of snatching quickly and surreptitiously <filched an apple from the tray>. purloin stresses removing or carrying off for one's own use or purposes <printed a purloined document>.

PILFER Defined for Kids

pilfer

play
verb pil·fer \ˈpil-fər\

Definition of pilfer for Students

pilferedpilfering

  1. :  to steal small amounts or articles of small value




Law Dictionary

pilfer

play
intransitive verb pil·fer \ˈpil-fər\

Legal Definition of pilfer

  1. :  to steal esp. in small amounts and often again and again <accused of pilfering from passenger luggage>

  2. transitive verb
  3. :  to steal or steal from esp. in small quantities <found pilfering goods from a store he was guarding>

pilferage \ˈpil-fə-rij\ play noun




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