\ˈhīst \
heisted; heisting; heists

Definition of heist 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 chiefly dialectal : hoist

2a : to commit armed robbery on

b : steal sense 1a



Definition of heist (Entry 2 of 2)

: armed robbery : holdup also : theft

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for heist

Synonyms: Verb

appropriate, boost [slang], filch, hook, lift, misappropriate, nick [British slang], nip, pilfer, pinch, pocket, purloin, rip off, snitch, steal, swipe, thieve

Synonyms: Noun

grab, pinch, rip-off, snatching, swiping, theft

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of heist in a Sentence


a professional burglar was able to heist a box of jewelry from the safe in the closet


it was the largest jewelry heist in the city's history

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sandra Bullock’s perfectly textured waves were a beautiful distraction, almost heisting the whole movie. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "Why Did Sandra Bullock’s Hair Look So Good in Prison?," 19 June 2018 Garner is currently facing charges in the Lake Monroe Park heists, but the Sheriff’s Office said more charges are pending for the thefts at the Splash Pad. Jeff Weiner, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Volusia deputies nab 'bathroom brass bandit' in toilet-fixture thefts," 10 Feb. 2018 Waymo has drawn a sordid picture, contending that Levandowski heisted thousands of documents containing Google trade secrets before defecting to Uber. Michael Liedtke, The Seattle Times, "A raucous Google-Uber fight is finally heading to trial," 4 Feb. 2018 The security officer said one man provided a distraction, while his partner heisted a large-screen television. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Thieves caught stealing 50-inch television: Brooklyn Police Blotter," 1 Nov. 2017 It has been discussed and dissected from the day he was officially heisted from the University of Pittsburgh's staff last Dec. 14. Ron Higgins, NOLA.com, "Is LSU's new offense ready for its close-up?," 29 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To give you an idea of just how complicated things get, Brian Wells’ heist and death take up only the first 15 or so minutes of the first episode. refinery29.com, "Thought The Staircase Was Crazy? Evil Genius Is Your Next True Crime Binge," 20 June 2018 Federal prosecutors say a former Brinks employee used his knowledge of armored truck routes and drivers to orchestrate two Savannah-area heists. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Ex-Brinks employee convicted of conspiring to rob armored trucks," 24 May 2018 Two more heists occurred on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19, and witnesses described that suspect, later identified as Tamea Chambers, as a black woman in her 30s wearing a wig, according to the statement. BostonGlobe.com, "Police blotter," 1 May 2018 And naturally, with the grand heist occurring during such a fashionable event, the women are shown preparing. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, ""Ocean's 8" Trailer Has Rihanna Hacking, Stunning Dresses, and an Iconic Jewel Heist," 12 Apr. 2018 There’s been everything from dance battles to jewel heists. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fortnite’s frantic food fight is its best mode yet," 15 Nov. 2018 Queen Village resident Warren Lipka was once a main player in one of the most inept heists of all time, in which a group of friends failed to steal from a $20 million book collection. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Summer arts guide, Wells Fargo Center to get a new look | Morning Newsletter," 7 June 2018 In that vein, here are eight of the greatest transfer heists in football history... SI.com, "8 of Football's Greatest Transfer Heists," 4 June 2018 The night that provoked Jay-Z, Beyonce and Solange's infamous elevator fight, a party with enough starpower to inspire Sandra Bullock'a fictional heist in this summer's forthcoming movie Ocean's 8. USA TODAY, "Live stream : Meta Gala 2018 red carpet arrivals," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of heist


1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heist


variant of hoist entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heist

Statistics for heist

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heist

The first known use of heist was in 1865

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heist



English Language Learners Definition of heist

: an act of stealing something from a bank or store

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on heist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heist

Spanish Central: Translation of heist

Nglish: Translation of heist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on heist

What made you want to look up heist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!