Definition of filch
- filch a cookie
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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
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'filch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
First Known Use: 1561See Words from the same year
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