Definition of filch
: to steal secretly or casually filch a cookie
filch was our Word of the Day on 02/11/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of filch in a sentence
He filched a pack of gum when no one was looking.
too hungry to wait until the party had started, he filched a cookie from the buffet table when no one was looking
Did You Know?
I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box: his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful singer-he kept not time. So says Falstaff in Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor. The Bard was fond of filch in both its literal and figurative uses; Iago says to Othello, "he that filches from me my good name / Robs me of that which not enriches him / And makes me poor indeed." Filch derives from the Middle English word filchen ("to attack" or "to steal") and perhaps from Old English gefylce ("band of men, troop, army"). As a noun, filch once referred to a hooked staff used by thieves to snatch articles out of windows and from similar places, but this use is now obsolete.
Origin and Etymology of filch
First Known Use: 1561
Synonym Discussion of filch
FILCH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of filch for English Language Learners
: to steal (something that is small or that has little value)
FILCH Defined for Kids
Definition of filch for Students
: to steal in a sneaky way
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up filch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).