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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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 Mitchell was preparing for an armed robbery, according to court records. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Execution scheduled for Arizona man, who is the only Native American on federal death row," 31 July 2020 An armed robbery in one Shelby County city led to the arrests of four suspects and the recovery of five guns, one of them stolen from an area law enforcement officer. Carol Robinson |, al, "4 young men jailed, 5 guns recovered following armed robbery in Calera," 30 July 2020 Court records show he was initially charged with armed robbery, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that got him three years probation. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "What we know about the Detroit police shooting of Hakim Littleton, protests," 12 July 2020 The officers saw Palacios-Carbajal at the Utah Village Motel and chased him after someone called police to report an apparent armed robbery, authorities said. Fox News, "Utah police cleared in deadly shooting of armed man running away from officers," 10 July 2020 Investigators in Butler County, Ohio, have made two arrests and are still searching for a third suspect in the death of Milton, who was shot to death during an apparent robbery in a park on June 9. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "At least 18 transgender people killed in 2020, advocacy group says," 2 July 2020 Turned out that Dave and I matched the descriptions of two suspects in an armed bank robbery that had just occurred a few miles away. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Ten life-and-death moments in columnist Tom Stienstra’s 40 years in the outdoors," 30 June 2020 Littleton, who police said was on probation for an unarmed robbery and a weapons charge, was standing on the sidewalk nearby as police handcuffed the other man. Washington Post, "Protesters gather in Detroit after police shoot and kill man who officers say shot at them first," 11 July 2020 Acting on a tip from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, San Antonio police made arrests 10 days later in what was said to be the first train robbery in the West in 47 years. Paula Allen,, "50 years ago, daring train robbery in San Antonio park targeted tourists; anniversary recreation to help zoo," 11 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for robbery

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for robbery

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Robbery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for robbery


How to pronounce robbery (audio)

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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