\ ˈhīst How to pronounce heist (audio) \
heisted; heisting; heists

Definition of heist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 chiefly dialectal : hoist
2a : to commit armed robbery on



Definition of heist (Entry 2 of 2)

: armed robbery : holdup also : theft

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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

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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

There are good jokes that work and heist setpieces that don’t. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Toy Story 4 goes beyond endings, with mixed results: EW review," 13 June 2019 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

Officers who were working an unrelated undercover operation around 3 a.m. spotted an ATM heist at the Members Choice Credit Union at Fry Road and Clay Road, according to Houston Police Department Lt. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Officers hurt while pursuing ‘organized’ ATM theft suspects in west Houston," 5 Sep. 2019 Three inept robbers pull heists, then argue, split and reconcile in suburban Dallas. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 The haul from Rezendez’s alleged heist wasn’t specified. BostonGlobe.com, "A 66-year-old East Boston man allegedly robbed a Chelsea bank Tuesday and then sought cover on a T bus, but his escape was foiled when police took him off the vehicle in his own neighborhood, officials said.," 12 Sep. 2019 Hustlers is, on its face, an upbeat true-crime romp full of jazzy dance numbers, flashy mid-2000s fashion, and lurid heists. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Welcome Rise of the Stripper Ensemble Film," 12 Sep. 2019 How to Steal a Million (1966) Romantic heists should really be a more common genre in 2019, and this movie proves why. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "45 Classic Movies to Watch If You Love Rom-Coms," 9 Sep. 2019 More than one viewer wondered why the film, about an art heist gone very wrong, was not given a competition slot. Ariston Anderson, The Hollywood Reporter, "Venice: Todd Phillips' 'Joker' Wins Golden Lion, Roman Polanski Wins Silver Lion," 7 Sep. 2019 The strategy, the police said, had earned him $400,000 worth of jewelry and watches from recent heists while people were away on vacation. New York Times, "82-Year-Old Slipped by Doormen to Steal $400,000 in Jewelry, Police Say," 4 Sep. 2019 While contemporary movies featuring bank heists and large quantities of cash can get the real deal from a bank — protecting it with security guards on set — Schanker didn’t need to go that far. Zoe Hewitt, chicagotribune.com, "'70s-era clothes, cash and guns challenged ‘The Kitchen’ prop and costume departments," 10 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for heist

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Time Traveler for heist

The first known use of heist was in 1865

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More Definitions for heist



English Language Learners Definition of heist

chiefly US, informal : an act of stealing something from a bank or store

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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

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