robbed; robbing

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to commit robbery
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 Caleb Witty, 17, was walking home from a street festival with his 14-year-old sister on Aug. 4, 2011 when two people attempted to rob the two teens, the Decatur Police Department said in a news release. Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 6 June 2024 Shortly afterward, Taylor is accused of trying to rob a couple at gunpoint, firing a gun in his parents’ house and then stealing their truck and fleeing police, at one point firing at an officer. James Hartley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4 June 2024 In Home Alone, still one of the most popular holiday movies decades after its release, Daniel Stern plays one of the bumbling criminals attempting to rob Macaulay Culkin's home. Raechal Shewfelt,, 1 June 2024 Van Zweden, leading the Philharmonic with the excellent singers of Musica Sacra, slid back into old habit of blazing through a score, which robbed sections like the hellfire Dies Irae of their heft. Joshua Barone, New York Times, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for rob 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rob.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rob

Cite this Entry

“Rob.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


robbed; robbing
: to take something away from a person or place in secrecy or by force, threat, or trickery
: to take away as loot : steal
: to keep from getting something due, expected, or desired
robber noun

More from Merriam-Webster on rob

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