\ ˈräb How to pronounce rob (audio) \
robbed; robbing

Definition of rob

transitive verb

1a(1) : to take something away from by force : steal from
(2) : to take personal property from by violence or threat
b(1) : to remove valuables without right from (a place)
(2) : to take the contents of (a receptacle)
c : to take away as loot : steal rob jewelry
2a : to deprive of something due, expected, or desired
b : to withhold unjustly or injuriously

intransitive verb

: to commit robbery

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rob

robber noun

Can rob mean 'to steal'?: Usage Guide

Transitive sense 1c, in which the direct object is the thing stolen, is sometimes considered to be wrong, or perhaps archaic. The sense has been in use since the 13th century and is found in earlier literature. contrive to rob the honey and subvert the hive — John Dryden It is still in use though not as common as other senses. then robbed $100 after the clerk fled Springfield (Massachusetts) Morning Union

Examples of rob in a Sentence

Someone tried to rob me. The cashier was robbed at gunpoint.
Recent Examples on the Web After two armed men attempted to rob an Akron beauty supply store Friday evening, an employee fatally shot one of the suspects, according to police. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Akron beauty supply shop employee fatally shoots robbery suspect, police say," 18 Nov. 2019 This represents the attitude of many centuries in which rape was considered a property crime against a husband or father, robbing them of a woman’s virginity or chastity, which were the father’s to give away to a spouse. The Economist, "Johnson How to talk about unspeakable things," 14 Nov. 2019 Isn’t that robbing them of childhood and turning them into adults? Time, "Stephen King on Doctor Sleep, Donald Trump and Why He Often Writes About Children," 7 Nov. 2019 Prosecutors say Huff was shot after he was lured to a location for a drug deal, by young men intent on robbing him. Tribune Media Services, al, "Etowah County targets ‘open house parties’ after teen’s shooting death," 31 Oct. 2019 Then the pair saw two individuals attempting to rob someone in a car. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Woman shot and killed after witnessing a robbery while playing Pokémon Go, police say," 23 Oct. 2019 Next, at 5:30 pm, Lamar appears to have attempted to rob the SunTrust bank branch at 8200 W. Broward Blvd in Plantation. Cindy Krischer Goodman,, "Robber surrenders after hitting 3 banks in 3 hours, cops say," 18 Oct. 2019 While en route, officers were told the suspect assaulted a clerk and was attempting to rob the motel. Fox News, "Robbery suspect beat Texas officer with his baton before being fatally shot," 9 Oct. 2019 Video of the initial carjacking incident circulated on social media and showed two men in masks with knives attempting to rob the Arsenal stars in Ozil's Mercedes. Emily Caron,, "Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac to Miss Arsenal vs. Newcastle Due to Security Concerns," 9 Aug. 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for rob

Middle English robben, from Anglo-French rober, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German roubōn to rob — more at reave

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rob

Time Traveler for rob

Time Traveler

The first known use of rob was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for rob

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rob.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rob


How to pronounce rob (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rob

: to take money or property from (a person or a place) illegally and sometimes by using force, violence, or threats
: to keep (someone) from getting something expected or wanted


\ ˈräb How to pronounce rob (audio) \
robbed; robbing

Kids Definition of rob

1 : to unlawfully take something away from a person or place in secrecy or by force, threat, or trickery
2 : to keep from getting something due, expected, or desired The noisy party robbed her of sleep.

Other Words from rob

robber noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rob

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rob

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rob

Spanish Central: Translation of rob

Nglish: Translation of rob for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rob for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rob

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


the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!