plunder

verb
plun·​der | \ ˈplən-dər How to pronounce plunder (audio) \
plundered; plundering\ ˈplən-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce plunder (audio) \

Definition of plunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to take the goods of by force (as in war) : pillage, sack invaders plundered the town
b : to take by force or wrongfully : steal, loot plundered artifacts from the tomb
2 : to make extensive use of as if by plundering : use or use up wrongfully plunder the land

intransitive verb

: to commit robbery or looting

plunder

noun

Definition of plunder (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of plundering : pillaging
2 : something taken by force, theft, or fraud : loot
3 chiefly dialectal : personal or household effects

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Other Words from plunder

Verb

plunderer \ ˈplən-​dər-​ər How to pronounce plunder (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for plunder

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for plunder

Noun

spoil, plunder, booty, prize, loot mean something taken from another by force or craft. spoil, more commonly spoils, applies to what belongs by right or custom to the victor in war or political contest. the spoils of political victory plunder applies to what is taken not only in war but in robbery, banditry, grafting, or swindling. a bootlegger's plunder booty implies plunder to be shared among confederates. thieves dividing up their booty prize applies to spoils captured on the high seas or territorial waters of the enemy. the wartime right of seizing prizes at sea loot applies especially to what is taken from victims of a catastrophe. picked through the ruins for loot

Examples of plunder in a Sentence

Verb The village was plundered by the invading army. Thieves had long ago plundered the tomb. The soldiers continued plundering for days. Noun the plunder of the village All evidence suggested that the plunder of the tomb had happened long ago.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ali granted foreign expeditions permission to plunder sites and gave antiquities away as gifts. Ursula Lindsey, The New York Review of Books, "Ancient Egypt for the Egyptians," 27 Apr. 2021 At least 40 witnesses have directly implicated Mr. Zuma in arrangements to plunder tens of millions of dollars from state companies. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, "South Africa Court Set to Rule on Jacob Zuma, and an Era of Impunity," 25 Mar. 2021 At one time tea was so valuable that pirates liked to plunder tea-carrying ships in the South China Sea. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: 80-year-old still enjoys learning new tricks," 24 Mar. 2021 With a single breach, those scenes — and glimpses from more than 149,000 security cameras — were suddenly revealed to hackers, who had used high-level log-in credentials to access and plunder Verkada’s vast camera network. Washington Post, "Massive camera hack exposes the growing reach and intimacy of American surveillance," 10 Mar. 2021 Imagine all the bad things on one BIG ship: Greed and bloat, violence and plunder and lies, now suddenly run aground. Stuck. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "One scoop at a time," 26 Mar. 2021 So great was Cleopatra’s obsession with pearls that her lover Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 BC to plunder some of the beauties, which were abundant in Scotland’s rivers. Jill N Newman, Town & Country, "A Brief Timeline of History's Most Famous Pearls," 24 Mar. 2021 Real-life pirates of the Caribbean plunder the world’s riches and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic. Washington Post, "What to watch on Monday: ‘Zero Chill’ on Netflix," 15 Mar. 2021 The real-life pirates of the Caribbean violently plunder the world’s riches and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic in this documentary series. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Everything coming and going on Netflix: Week of March 14th," 14 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Perhaps in light of similar accusations, some Jews and, subsequently, Christians, interpreted the text as a story about symbolic and not literal plunder. David Lincicum, The Conversation, "Ancient Christian thinkers made a case for reparations that has striking relevance today," 28 Apr. 2021 In recent years, museums around the world have been repatriating human remains — often gathered during colonial plunder — to their descendants. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, "Before Donating Your Body Was a Choice," 25 Mar. 2021 But a capitalist was a legalized criminal who targeted thousands, if not millions, and felt no shame for his plunder. Jonathan Dee, The New Yorker, "How Viet Thanh Nguyen Turns Fiction Into Criticism," 22 Feb. 2021 Mayhem quickly followed — days of plunder, punishment and bloodshed that ended with dozens of refugees being singled out and forced back across the border into Eritrea. New York Times, "Refugees Come Under Fire as Old Foes Fight in Concert in Ethiopia," 18 Dec. 2020 Similarly, 2012’s Diablo 3 is fundamentally the same game as 1996’s Diablo, a descent into a demon’s domain largely enjoyed as an excuse for plunder and weaponry that turns you into an even more efficient demon-slaying machine. Joshua Rivera, Wired, "Video Game Hell Isn’t Nearly Agonizing Enough," 22 Dec. 2020 Rightly or wrongly, EU trawlers venturing freely in U.K. waters came to be seen as a symbol of plunder and exploitation. Raf Casert, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why the tiny fishing industry plays a big role in Brexit talks," 4 Dec. 2020 The mere prospect of a Democratic president nominally meddling with their plunder has generated anxiety among the wealthy. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Some Rich People Are Hilariously Freaked Out About a Biden Presidency," 24 Sep. 2020 With probes ongoing in several countries, the extent of the plunder is still unknown, but is set to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. David Herbling, Bloomberg.com, "Covid Graft Plague Spurs Political Shake-Up Across Africa," 4 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plunder.' 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 plunder

Verb

1632, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plunder

Verb

German plündern

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Time Traveler for plunder

Time Traveler

The first known use of plunder was in 1632

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Statistics for plunder

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plunder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plunder. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for plunder

plunder

verb

English Language Learners Definition of plunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to steal things from (a place, such as a city or town) especially by force

plunder

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plunder (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of stealing things from a place especially by force : the act of plundering something
: things that are stolen or taken by force especially during a war

plunder

verb
plun·​der | \ ˈplən-dər How to pronounce plunder (audio) \
plundered; plundering

Kids Definition of plunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to rob or steal especially openly and by force (as during war)

plunder

noun

Kids Definition of plunder (Entry 2 of 2)

: something stolen by force : loot

Comments on plunder

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