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

That gave them access to at least 10 computers and the ability to monitor employees’ computer activity and steal passwords. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Mueller Probe Indicts 12 Russians in Hacking of DNC and Clinton Campaign," 13 July 2018 The arrest reports are sketchy by any measure, listing no witnesses, fingerprint evidence, confessions or even property stolen. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 According to a police report, the employee had $400 and a $2,400 bank deposit stolen by a person at the ATM on July 3. charlotteobserver, "Restaurant employee robbed at bank ATM in Ballantyne late Tuesday," 11 July 2018 Only 36 percent of gun owners in Washington state keep their firearms locked and unloaded, according to a study highlighted by the council, and at least 250 guns were stolen in Seattle last year, according to the police. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Gun owners face fines up to $10,000 for not locking up their guns under new Seattle law," 9 July 2018 Aggregate theft is repeated theft, where the combined amount stolen determines the grade of the offense. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Panty thief caught with Ecstasy stole 612 pairs of Victoria's Secret undies, Texas cops say," 6 July 2018 For decades, automation in the aviation industry has proven that humans are really very bad about snapping back to attention once it has been stolen away by a message, a fun app, a funny-looking cloud. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Distracted Driving Is Out of Control, and There's No Single Cure," 27 June 2018 An 85-year-old doctor will appear in a Madrid court Tuesday, the first person to stand trial over an alleged practice that saw thousands of babies stolen under Spain’s military dictatorship during the mid-twentieth century. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Spain to Begin the First Ever Franco-Era 'Stolen Babies' Trial," 26 June 2018 Ballistics testing on a gun stolen during a carjacking in Kansas City, Kansas, earlier in December tied him to Harmon's slaying. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Inmate charged in shooting deaths of 2 Kansas deputies," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Paul is a very tough defender, and the once hopeless Harden is at least making an effort; his steal from Utah’s Donovan Mitchell was the signature play in the Rockets’ series-clinching win. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors-Houston matchups," 12 May 2018 His seven steals were the most ever by a Heat player in a playoff game. Barry Jackson, miamiherald, "If this was Wade's final home game, it was something memorable | Miami Herald," 21 Apr. 2018 After his second steal of the game, Hamilton scored on a Jesse Winker single, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Aaron Nola aces opportunity to get Phillies to .500," 11 Apr. 2018 However, his team-leading 1.3 steals per game and his ability to chase opposing shooters off the 3-point line are his biggest strengths. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Big test for Michigan's Zavier Simpson: Nova's Jalen Brunson," 1 Apr. 2018 Jones made five of her steals in the run as Braintree forced 11 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of play to take an early 20-8 lead. Greg Levinsky, BostonGlobe.com, "Jeniyah Jones sparks Braintree off the bench," 9 Mar. 2018 His steal led to an Ahmad dunk that gave WVU a 21-20 lead with 3:55 left. Chris Fickett, kansascity, "West Virginia rolls to Big 12 semifinals after Jevon Carter's halftime buzzer-beater | The Kansas City Star," 8 Mar. 2018 Ariza ranks 42nd in NBA history with 1,313 career three-pointers made and 52nd with 1,424 career steals. azcentral, "Phoenix Suns introduce NBA free agent signing Trevor Ariza at news conference," 6 July 2018 His many steals were not kept as an official stat at the time. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "TNT broadcaster Marv Albert reminisces on a previous players' Game 7 uncertainty," 28 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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Learn More about steal

Statistics for steal

Last Updated

23 Oct 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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