shop·​lift | \ˈshäp-ˌlift \
shoplifted; shoplifting; shoplifts

Definition of shoplift 

intransitive verb

: to steal displayed goods from a store

transitive verb

: to steal (displayed goods) from a store

Examples of shoplift in a Sentence

The manager saw the kids shoplift and called the police. The kids shoplifted candy from the store.

Recent Examples on the Web

The wealthy and better-educated are more likely to shoplift. William Wan, The Seattle Times, "Are rich people more likely to lie, cheat, steal? Science explains the world of Manafort and Gates.," 13 Aug. 2018 Their crimes — shoplifting, playing hooky, smoking pot — may be quotidian, but their sense of alienation is not. J. Hoberman, New York Times, "A Fiery Tale of Teenage Despair, as Fresh as When It Debuted in 1994," 26 Apr. 2018 The suspect was a police officer in Auburn during the 1970s but was fired after he was accused of shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent, according to a 1979 newspaper article. John Myers,, "Suspected Golden State Killer, a former police officer, arrested on 'needle in the haystack' DNA evidence," 26 Apr. 2018 Police cited two male suspects for shoplifting March 19 at Exxon, 12700 Broadway St. Police arrested a Houston man, 19, for unauthorized use of a vehicle March 21 in the 14000 block of Harmony Ridge Trail. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland: No items too small, large for some crooks, police say," 29 Mar. 2018 Someone shoplifted two power drills from a business. Kari Barnett,, "Delray Beach crime log: June 18-July 1," 6 July 2018 He had been fired from the police force in 1979 after he was accused of shoplifting a hammer and dog repellant from a drug store. CBS News, "Has "The Golden State Killer" been caught?," 28 Apr. 2018 Barnes has been arrested seven times for shoplifting in incidents that typically resulted in a sentence of probation. Melanie Burney,, "Woman charged with shoplifting before fatal Deptford strip mall shooting is ordered released. Judge calls her character 'abysmal'," 14 June 2018 DeAngelo worked as a police officer for small towns in California until 1979, when he was fired in Auburn for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent. Joseph Serna,, "Wife of Golden State Killer suspect offers prayers for victims, seeks privacy for family," 8 June 2018

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

1756, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for shoplift

back-formation from shoplifter

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Statistics for shoplift

Last Updated

19 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for shoplift

The first known use of shoplift was in 1756

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More Definitions for shoplift



English Language Learners Definition of shoplift

: to steal things from a shop or store


shop·​lift | \ˈshäp-ˌlift \
shoplifted; shoplifting

Kids Definition of shoplift

: to steal merchandise on display in stores

Other Words from shoplift

shoplifter \-​ˌlif-​tər \ noun
shop·​lift | \ˈshäp-ˌlift \

Legal Definition of shoplift 

: to steal displayed goods from a store

transitive verb

: to steal (displayed goods) from a store

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More from Merriam-Webster on shoplift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shoplift

Spanish Central: Translation of shoplift

Nglish: Translation of shoplift for Spanish Speakers

Comments on shoplift

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


a knickknack or trinket

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