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 The floor is the groundskeeper for the Super Bowl, works for the other team and does a terrible job that sabotages the best end rusher in the league and we are robbed of another Super Bowl. Daniel Kohn, Spin, 6 Sep. 2023 In the bottom of the fifth, Greene jumped and extended his body to make an incredible diving catch for the third out, robbing Tim Anderson of extra bases. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 2 Sep. 2023 We were robbed of Monica and Josh’s chaotic storyline. Vulture, 1 Sep. 2023 The teen was charged along with four District teens who were arrested on a charge of assault with intent to rob and unauthorized use of a vehicle in connection with a robbery attempt in the 700 block of 12th Street NE on Tuesday evening, police said. Clarence Williams, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2023 Later that month, Pray allegedly fired a gun while robbing an auto parts store in Portland on March 21, 2022, according to court documents. oregonlive, 31 Aug. 2023 Many of them were gay men being drugged and robbed, in a series of disturbing incidents that began two years ago. Steve Osunsami, ABC News, 29 Aug. 2023 Gupta was the owner of Madeira Beverage, which Attaway was in the process of robbing when the shooting occurred. Erin Couch, The Enquirer, 28 Aug. 2023 Holly was robbed of a honeymoon — and a ride — on Monday night’s episode of 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 29 Aug. 2023 See More

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 23 Sep. 2023.

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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