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

Synonyms for steal

Synonyms: Verb

appropriate, boost [slang], filch, heist, hook, lift, misappropriate, nick [British slang], nip, pilfer, pinch, pocket, purloin, rip off, snitch, swipe, thieve

Synonyms: Noun

bargain, buy, deal, pennyworth, snip [British]

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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

Mantha stole the puck at the Washington blue line, skated in and beat goalie Braden Holtby with a backhander between the pads. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Capitals rally in third to edge Red Wings 3-2," 6 Jan. 2019 The sisters and their friends are planning a trip to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics, but end up having their car stolen (!!) and boarding a wrong flight (!!!) causing the group to end up in Las Vegas. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Which Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Movie You Should Watch According to Your Zodiac Sign," 2 Jan. 2019 Over the course of the hacking campaign, the group accessed at least 90 computers and stole hundreds of gigabytes of data, according to the charging document. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Chinese hackers charged with stealing data from NASA, IBM, and others," 20 Dec. 2018 In 2015, a home was stolen off of someone's property in Texas, throwing the tiny home community into a frenzy. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Tiny Home Theft Is On The Rise: Here's How To Protect Your Property," 19 Dec. 2018 The boy frequently steals the iPad, without asking, to sneak in a game of Minecraft. Steve Brykman, Ars Technica, "Forget Fortnite—my son is still obsessed with Minecraft," 16 Dec. 2018 Unfortunately, yes, this is a sign someone has stolen your child’s Social Security number to use as their own. Nathan Bachrach, Cincinnati.com, "Do this if you suspect your child is an identity theft victim," 11 July 2018 The venue looked like something out of a fairytale, and was perfect for all of those epic Instagram shots: Safe to say the Wests stole Christmas. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Kardashian-Jenner Babies Stole the Show at the Kardashian Christmas Party 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Other times, attackers have used BGP hijackings more surgically to achieve specific aims, such as stealing cryptocurrency or regaining control of computers monitored in a police investigation. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "How 3ve’s BGP hijackers eluded the Internet—and made $29M," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The result was his best season, averaging 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 steals. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Oladipo all-in on Indiana Pacers: 'We scratched the surface of how good we can really be'," 27 June 2018 The car itself is up for just $310,000 (£250,000), which seems like a steal for such a complex piece of engineering. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bad news for the 1,000mph car as Bloodhound SSC is shut down," 11 Dec. 2018 Another Chance for Costa Rica Costa Rica gets a steal in Swiss terrritory and breaks to the goal with numbers. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Switzerland Does Enough to Advance in World Cup," 28 June 2018 Ramsey, who plays prep ball for IMG Academy in Florida, averages 14.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals on Nike's highly competitive travel circuit. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "3 prospects who could help Louisville basketball's 2019 signing class," 11 July 2018 Brown added 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals for the Pistons (2-2), who advance in the summer league tournament to face the Chicago Bulls (2-2) on Saturday. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Bruce Brown stuffs stat sheet in Detroit Pistons summer league win," 11 July 2018 Reed followed up his team-high 18 points in the Suns’ win over Dallas on Friday with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Kings. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Marvin Bagley III learning ups and downs of NBA," 8 July 2018 On Saturday night, Hamilton had 12 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and two steals in a 90-76 win over Brooklyn. Staff Report, courant.com, "UConn Players Seeking Summer Success In Las Vegas," 8 July 2018 Ledbetter helped the Spurs capture their first win on Tuesday, finishing with 16 points, five assists and two steals in a 103-81 victory over the Hawks. Jabari Young, San Antonio Express-News, "Ledbetter staying true to his formula with Spurs Summer League team," 4 July 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

16 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on steal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steal

Spanish Central: Translation of steal

Nglish: Translation of steal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on steal

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