shop·​lift·​er ˈshäp-ˌlif-tər How to pronounce shoplifter (audio)
: one who shoplifts

Examples of shoplifter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Advertisement Donald Trump, in a speech to California Republicans on Dec. 1, called for shoplifters to be shot on sight. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2023 There shouldn’t be a dollar limit that allows shoplifters to steal without consequences. Lindsey Holden, Sacramento Bee, 5 Feb. 2024 While some companies are bringing back more humans in stores, others hope that doubling down on technology will deter shoplifters. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 23 Jan. 2024 Retailers increasingly are using facial recognition software to patrol their stores for shoplifters and other unwanted customers. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2024 Many are telling workers, even in some cases those in loss-prevention roles, not to confront shoplifters for safety reasons. Jennifer Williams-Alvarez, WSJ, 9 Jan. 2024 Norman also noted that because M&S offers its own label products, their resale value is lower among shoplifters, putting the retail chain at an advantage when fighting shoplifting. Byprarthana Prakash, Fortune Europe, 21 Nov. 2023 Federal regulators said Rite Aid activated the face-scanning technology, which uses artificial intelligence to attempt to identify people captured by surveillance cameras, in hundreds of stores between 2012 and 2020 in hopes of cracking down on shoplifters and other problematic customers. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2023 Norman’s comments underline the trouble U.K. retailers face as shoplifters find sophisticated ways to steal from grocery and other retail stores. Byprarthana Prakash, Fortune Europe, 21 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1680, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shoplifter was in 1680

Dictionary Entries Near shoplifter

Cite this Entry

“Shoplifter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


shop·​lift·​er -ˌlif-tər How to pronounce shoplifter (audio)
: a person who shoplifts

Legal Definition


: one who shoplifts

More from Merriam-Webster on shoplifter

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