theft

noun
\ ˈtheft How to pronounce theft (audio) \

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 it
b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property
2 : a stolen base in baseball
3 obsolete : something stolen

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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 on the Web While the incident is still under investigation, Ciryak said theft, criminal trespassing and criminal damaging misdemeanor charges are likely. John Benson, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2021 Wage theft is a persistent problem that requires changes to the nation's labor laws, said Galvin, the Northwestern professor. NBC News, 6 Sep. 2021 The theft was part of the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program, which compensates officers for traffic enforcement. James T. Norman, chicagotribune.com, 17 Aug. 2021 Car theft is hardly a new problem, said Dawn Barnett, Running Rebels co-executive director. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Aug. 2021 Car theft is a crime, so the mayor is technically correct to say there’s a crime wave, and there was a homicide and seven assaults, too. Dominic Pino, National Review, 18 July 2021 The theft is so pervasive that there’s an active debate about whether to mark Native American burials on public and tribal lands. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, Anchorage Daily News, 9 July 2021 The theft is so pervasive that there’s an active debate about whether to mark Native American burials on public and tribal lands. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, Washington Post, 8 July 2021 As of July 4, larceny theft is down 8.8% this year compared to the same point last year. Cheri Mossburg, Stella Chan And Eric Levenson, CNN, 6 July 2021

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.

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First Known Use of theft

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

History and Etymology for theft

Middle English thiefthe, from Old English thīefth; akin to Old English thēof thief

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Learn More About theft

Time Traveler for theft

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near theft

the French

theft

theftbote

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Statistics for theft

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Theft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theft. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for theft

theft

noun

English Language Learners Definition of theft

: the act or crime of stealing

theft

noun
\ ˈtheft How to pronounce theft (audio) \

Kids Definition of theft

: the act of stealing

theft

noun

Legal Definition of theft

: larceny broadly : a criminal taking of the property or services of another without consent

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)

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 committing theft or another crime
petty theft
: theft of property or services whose value is below a specified amount

called also petit theft

Note: Petty theft is a misdemeanor but may be aggravated by prior convictions.

History and Etymology for theft

Old English thiefth

More from Merriam-Webster on theft

Nglish: Translation of theft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theft for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about theft

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