\ ˈthēv How to pronounce thieve (audio) \
thieved; thieving

Definition of thieve

: steal, rob

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Synonyms for thieve


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

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Examples of thieve in a Sentence

someone's been thieving my cookies!

Recent Examples on the Web

Cattle raiding and horse thieving were common crimes in the Wild West, but bee rustling is a relatively new offense for the lawbooks. Lucas Foglia, National Geographic, "Beekeepers hit hard by thefts of hives," 3 May 2019 The raven thieving groceries from the back of your truck or the call of migrating swans high overhead all serve to bring our feathered neighbors to notice. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 2018 The first episode of this nature mini-series focuses on animals who will steal, cheat and fight for food, including kleptomaniac crabs, thieving macaques and cannibalistic lizards. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Archer’," 25 Apr. 2018 Syrians generally viewed thieving civil servants as an inevitable part of life. John Wendle, Scientific American, "The Ominous Story of Syria's Climate Refugees," 17 Dec. 2015 Give the nesting plovers a wide berth and keep a close eye on thieving gulls hovering to snatch your roast beef from Kelly’s., "The 20 best beaches to visit in New England," 2 May 2018 After all, Asher Potts was not just a name and Social Security number making credit card purchases or otherwise identity-thieving around. Daniel Riley, GQ, "The Great High School Impostor," 1 May 2018 All this carries a whiff of the Somozas, the brutal, thieving dictators whom the Sandinistas overthrew in 1979. The Economist, "Riots threaten Nicaragua’s autocratic president," 26 Apr. 2018 On the way, Castner and Co. are tormented by gumball-sized flesh-eating flies, deadly lightning storms, oceanic waves, ceaseless rain, prowling bears, thieving locals, Hyundai-sized rapids, and countless near-disasters. Porter Fox, Outside Online, "The Best New Books About Epic Expeditions," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thieve.' 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 thieve

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for thieve

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for thieve

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

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More Definitions for thieve


\ ˈthēv How to pronounce thieve (audio) \
thieved; thieving

Kids Definition of thieve

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More from Merriam-Webster on thieve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thieve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thieve

Spanish Central: Translation of thieve

Nglish: Translation of thieve for Spanish Speakers

Comments on thieve

What made you want to look up thieve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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