steal

verb
\ˈstēl \
stole\ ˈstōl \; stolen\ ˈstō-​lən \; stealing

Definition of steal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice

2 : to come or go secretly, unobtrusively, gradually, or unexpectedly

3 : to steal or attempt to steal a base

transitive verb

1a : to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully stole a car

b : to take away by force or unjust means they've stolen our liberty

c : to take surreptitiously or without permission steal a kiss

d : to appropriate to oneself or beyond one's proper share : make oneself the focus of steal the show

2a : to move, convey, or introduce secretly : smuggle

b : to accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner steal a visit

3a : to seize, gain, or win by trickery, skill, or daring a basketball player adept at stealing the ball stole the election

b of a base runner : to reach (a base) safely solely by running and usually catching the opposing team off guard

steal a march on

: to gain an advantage on unobserved

steal one's thunder

: to grab attention from another especially by anticipating an idea, plan, or presentation also : to claim credit for another's idea

steal

noun

Definition of steal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of stealing

2 : a fraudulent or questionable political deal

3 : bargain sense 2 it's a steal at that price

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Other Words from steal

Verb

stealable \ ˈstē-​lə-​bəl \ adjective
stealer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for steal

Verb

steal, pilfer, filch, purloin mean to take from another without right or without detection. steal may apply to any surreptitious taking of something and differs from the other terms by commonly applying to intangibles as well as material things. steal jewels stole a look at the gifts pilfer implies stealing repeatedly in small amounts. pilfered from his employer filch adds a suggestion of snatching quickly and surreptitiously. filched an apple from the tray purloin stresses removing or carrying off for one's own use or purposes. printed a purloined document

Examples of steal in a Sentence

Verb

They stole thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry from the store. He discovered that his car had been stolen. The store manager accused the boy of stealing. I stole a cookie from the cookie jar. They stole our best pitcher away from our team. His outstanding performance stole the show.

Noun

This car is a steal at only $5,000. He has 40 steals this season. a nifty steal by the defender
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In other news: Police are searching for a food delivery man who stole nearly two dozen packages from the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Steve Burns, ajc, "Man accused of kidnapping woman from Georgia car parts plant, raping her," 13 July 2018 Detectives are searching for distraction thieves who stole the purse of a woman visiting from England, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Distraction thieves shown on video stealing from English visitor in Dania Beach hotel," 12 July 2018 Authorities have arrested a man who allegedly stole property from a La Porte church, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the La Porte Police Department. Victoria Cheyne, Houston Chronicle, "Shore Acres man accused of stealing guitars from La Porte church," 11 July 2018 Companies are trying to balance privacy concerns with mounting pressure to do a better job in rooting out workers who might steal, harass or commit violent acts in the workplace. Michael Sasso And Jeff Green, latimes.com, "Get ready for rolling background checks at work," 11 July 2018 The same Javelin study found that 60 percent of children who become identity theft victims know the person who steals their information. Nathan Bachrach, Cincinnati.com, "Do this if you suspect your child is an identity theft victim," 11 July 2018 Companies are trying to balance privacy concerns with mounting pressure to do a better job in rooting out workers who might steal, harass or even commit violent acts in the workplace. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Rolling Background Checks at Work Are Becoming a Thing," 11 July 2018 The Braintree Police Department’s detective division is looking for help from the public — and the suspect himself — to identify a man who allegedly stole more than $1,000 worth of razors on July 6. Andres Picon, BostonGlobe.com, "Braintree police seek public’s help identifying ‘sweatsuit razor bandit’ who stole $1,000 worth of razors," 10 July 2018 Just as good is Park, who steals his scenes with a quieter deadpan. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Review: 'Ant-Man' sequel is a less-is-more triumph," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Holiday, had a steal from Sexton late in the fourth as the teams traded the lead until Sexton's slices to the basket produced too many easy chances. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Aaron Holiday battles Collin Sexton as Pacers come up short in summer league vs. Cavs," 9 July 2018 After a steal, Embolo heads back a cross beautifully and Dzemaili is there unmarked to power it in the net. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Switzerland Does Enough to Advance in World Cup," 28 June 2018 The fourth run for the Indians, which came in the fourth, came in on what amounted to a double steal. Nathan Cambridge, latimes.com, "St. Francis baseball rallies past Burroughs in VIBL action," 16 June 2018 Bridges, 21, has averaged 6.3 points on 54 percent shooting to go with 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers to open NBA Summer League playoffs against Mikal Bridges, Suns," 11 July 2018 Over three games, Nwora averaged 21.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.7 assists. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's Jordan Nwora more than just a shooter for Nigerian team," 10 July 2018 Rogers, a 6-foot-3 freshman guard from Colorado,was an all-state player in high school, averaging 16 points, four assists,three rebounds and two steals a game at Evergreen (Colo.) High School. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Frog Tracks: Pebley gets extension; men's hoops adds three," 10 July 2018 In his 102 career playoff appearances (90 starts), Ariza has averaged 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 36.7 percent from three-point range. azcentral, "Phoenix Suns introduce NBA free agent signing Trevor Ariza at news conference," 6 July 2018 Anthony Davis led the way with 33 points, 18 rebounds and four steals, while Jrue Holiday chipped in 21 points and seven rebounds. William Guillory, NOLA.com, "Anthony Davis takes over, powers Pelicans to Game 3 victory over Warriors," 4 May 2018

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for steal

Verb

Middle English stelen, from Old English stelan; akin to Old High German stelan to steal

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Statistics for steal

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for steal

The first known use of steal was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for steal

steal

verb

English Language Learners Definition of steal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to take (something that does not belong to you) in a way that is wrong or illegal

: to take (something that you are not supposed to have) without asking for permission

: to wrongly take and use (another person's idea, words, etc.)

steal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of steal (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is being sold at a low price

baseball : the act of stealing a base

sports : the act of taking the ball, puck, etc., from another player

steal

verb
\ˈstēl \
stole\ ˈstōl \; stolen\ ˈstō-​lən \; stealing

Kids Definition of steal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to take and carry away (something that belongs to another person) without permission and with the intention of keeping

2 : to come or go quietly or secretly She stole out of the room.

3 : to draw attention away from others The puppy stole the show.

4 : to take or get secretly or in a tricky way He stole a nap.

5 : to reach the next base safely in baseball by running to it when the ball has not been hit in play

6 : to take (as a ball or puck) from another player

7 : to take something from a situation

steal

noun

Kids Definition of steal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of stealing He leads the team in steals.

2 : bargain entry 1 sense 2 At 20 dollars, these boots were a steal.

steal

noun
\ˈstēl \

Medical Definition of steal 

: abnormal circulation characterized by deviation (as through collateral vessels or by backward flow) of blood to tissues where the normal flow of blood has been cut off by occlusion of an artery subclavian steal coronary steal

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stole; stolen; stealing

Legal Definition of steal 

: to take or appropriate without right or consent and with intent to keep or make use of — see also robbery, theft

History and Etymology for steal

Old English stelan

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Comments on steal

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