Synonym Chooser

How does the verb filch differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of filch are pilfer, purloin, and steal. While all these words mean "to take from another without right or without detection," filch adds a suggestion of snatching quickly and surreptitiously.

filched an apple from the tray

When can pilfer be used instead of filch?

The meanings of pilfer and filch largely overlap; however, pilfer implies stealing repeatedly in small amounts.

pilfered from his employer

When might purloin be a better fit than filch?

While the synonyms purloin and filch are close in meaning, purloin stresses removing or carrying off for one's own use or purposes.

printed a purloined document

Where would steal be a reasonable alternative to filch?

The words steal and filch are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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


Thesaurus Entries Near filch

Cite this Entry

“Filch.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on filch

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!