\ ˈthēf How to pronounce thief (audio) \
plural thieves\ ˈthēvz How to pronounce thief (audio) \

Definition of thief

: one that steals especially stealthily or secretly also : one who commits theft or larceny

Examples of thief in a Sentence

A thief took my purse. a thief has been stealing wallets and valuables from the lockers at the gym
Recent Examples on the Web Just this week in Milford, a converter thief with a reciprocating saw cut a man who confronted him, police there said. Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant, 20 May 2022 Mike Tyson pops up in an extended cameo as a professional car thief for no apparent reason other than to give the film’s producers an excuse to add his face to the poster. Rene Rodriguez, Variety, 17 May 2022 Per your editorial, William Piccone is a career criminal and serial thief, with 60 criminal charges in the past five years. WSJ, 13 May 2022 The biopic of Polish thief Zdzisław Najmrodzki, who was a folk hero for his elaborate escapes from various locales. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 On Sunday, Lytle police were called to the H-E-B in that town in response to a thief fleeing with a $15 floral arrangement. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 9 May 2022 In the film's most famous scene, Grace Kelly, playing an American heiress, lures a former thief with the magnificent jewels around her throat. Ian Malone, Vogue, 6 May 2022 But late last week, police say, a thief cut down the statue, hacked it into pieces and sold the parts for scrap metal. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 May 2022 But one of the charms of this adaptation of the Donald Westlake long-running book character (previously done in Point Blank and Payback) is the interplay between Statham's crafty thief and Lopez's in-over-her-head real estate agent/co-conspirator. Elliott Smith,, 4 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thief.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of thief

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thief

Middle English theef, from Old English thēof; akin to Old High German diob thief

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

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thief ant

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thief.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for thief


\ ˈthēf How to pronounce thief (audio) \
plural thieves\ ˈthēvz \

Kids Definition of thief

: a person who steals : robber


plural thieves

Legal Definition of thief

: one who commits theft

History and Etymology for thief

Old English thēof

More from Merriam-Webster on thief

Nglish: Translation of thief for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thief for Arabic Speakers


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