rob·​bery | \ ˈrä-b(ə-)rē How to pronounce robbery (audio) \
plural robberies

Definition of robbery

: the act or practice of robbing specifically : larceny from the person or presence of another by violence or threat

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Synonyms for robbery


larceny, stealing, theft, thievery

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Examples of robbery in a Sentence

a series of armed robberies They foiled a bank robbery. He is charged with attempted robbery. She was arrested for robbery.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In December 2016, at age 18, Renfro was charged with felony simple robbery after allegedly snatching a purse from an 85-year-old woman outside the Target store in West St. Paul, according to a criminal complaint. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "West St. Paul shooting leaves 21-year-old man dead, family members say," 10 July 2019 According to other residents of the area, robberies are not uncommon. Chris Quinn,, "Sheriff’s deputy shot early Saturday on the South Side," 22 June 2019 The robbery is one of five in a short span Sunday that police were investigating as related. Laurel Demkovich, Washington Post, "Gay couple assaulted, robbed on U Street in attack that used homophobic slur, police report says," 19 June 2019 Units are investigating an armed robbery at 389 Main St. One blank round fired inside business No one hurt. Emily Sweeney,, "Watertown police investigating armed robbery," 27 June 2019 Two men were arrested on June 20 in connection with recent shootings on Ronald Drive in Lexington Park and Mojave Drive in Great Mills and an armed robbery in Lexington Park. Washington Post, "Southern Maryland crime report," 27 June 2019 In a CBS News Poll conducted in 2017, as O.J. Simpson was being released from prison for an armed robbery and kidnapping conviction, 71% of Americans said that Simpson was guilty of the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. CBS News, "CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit," 26 June 2019 Peterson was released from prison in 2015 after serving a seven-year sentence for armed robbery. Adam Ferrise,, "Founder of Cleveland’s Heartless Felons, now a city of Cleveland employee, accused of threatening co-worker," 25 June 2019 Two east metro men were convicted in federal court for the armed robbery of a North Minneapolis convenience store in 2018. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "St. Paul, Maplewood men convicted for armed robbery of Minneapolis store," 18 June 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for robbery

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for robbery

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

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More Definitions for robbery



English Language Learners Definition of robbery

: the crime of stealing money or property : the crime of robbing a person or place


rob·​bery | \ ˈrä-bə-rē How to pronounce robbery (audio) , ˈräb-rē\
plural robberies

Kids Definition of robbery

: the act or practice of taking something unlawfully


plural robberies

Legal Definition of robbery

: the unlawful taking away of personal property from a person by violence or by threat of violence that causes fear : larceny from the person or immediate presence of another by violence or threat of violence and with intent to steal
aggravated robbery
: robbery committed with aggravating factors (as use of a weapon, infliction of bodily injury, or use of an accomplice)
armed robbery
: robbery committed by a person armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon
simple robbery
: robbery that does not involve any aggravating factors

History and Etymology for robbery

Anglo-French robberie roberie, from Old French, from rober to take something away from a person by force

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Comments on robbery

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


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