Definition of theft
1a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of itb : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property
2 : a stolen base in baseball
3 obsolete : something stolen
Examples of theft in a Sentence
The theft of the jewelry and other valuables was immediately reported to the police.
He was found guilty of theft.
Recent Examples of theft from the Web
Jerry Crenshaw Jr. pleaded guilty in 1993 to sexual misconduct, theft, attempted assault, aggravated assault and criminal mischief, according to court records.
A 13-year-old girl found dead over the weekend was kidnapped and held for ransom over the theft of marijuana, according to an affidavit.
Police officers responded about 11:30 p.m. to the 11900 block of West 49th Street, where the attempted auto theft was reported.
Carvajal spent four years and eight months in prison from 2007-2012 on seven counts of carjacking, one count of grand theft and one count of burglary with assault.
Charges of trespassing in May 2013and theft in June 2013 were placed on the inactive docket and charges of second-degree assault in January 2011 were dismissed according to court records.
For nearly three decades, detectives have sought to solve the theft of $500 million of artwork—including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Manet—from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Prior to the theft, people flocked to the Don Bosco Basilica to pray in front of its reliquary, McKenna reports.
A week after China’s first cybersecurity law took effect, an investigation over the alleged theft and sale of iPhone users’ information looked set to test how well Apple Inc. and other companies protect Chinese citizens’ personal data.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theft'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of theft
Middle English thiefthe, from Old English thīefth; akin to Old English thēof thief
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
THEFT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of theft for English Language Learners
: the act or crime of stealing
THEFT Defined for Kids
Definition of theft for Students
: the act of stealing
Legal Definition of theft
: larceny; broadly : a criminal taking of the property or services of another without consent Editor's note: Theft commonly encompasses by statute a variety of forms of stealing formerly treated as distinct crimes. grand theft : theft of property or services whose value exceeds a specified amount or of a specified kind of property (as an automobile) Editor's note: Grand theft is a felony. identity theft : the unauthorized use of another's means of identification (as name or social security number) for the purpose of commiting theft or another crime petty theft : theft of property or services whose value is below a specified amount —called also petit theft Editor's note: Petty theft is a misdemeanor but may be aggravated by prior convictions.
Origin and Etymology of theft
Old English thiefth
Seen and Heard
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