1 of 2


: goods usually of considerable value taken in war : spoils
The soldiers helped themselves to any loot that they could find.
: something held to resemble goods of value seized in war: such as
: something appropriated illegally often by force or violence
the thieves' loot
: illicit gains by public officials
: money
would not … spend all that loot on herLangston Hughes
: the action of looting
general loot of church landHilaire Belloc


2 of 2


looted; looting; loots

transitive verb

: to plunder or sack in war
: to rob especially on a large scale and usually by violence or corruption
: to seize and carry away by force especially in war

intransitive verb

: to engage in robbing or plundering especially in war
looter noun
Choose the Right Synonym for loot

spoil, plunder, booty, prize, loot mean something taken from another by force or craft.

spoil, more commonly spoils, applies to what belongs by right or custom to the victor in war or political contest.

the spoils of political victory

plunder applies to what is taken not only in war but in robbery, banditry, grafting, or swindling.

a bootlegger's plunder

booty implies plunder to be shared among confederates.

thieves dividing up their booty

prize applies to spoils captured on the high seas or territorial waters of the enemy.

the wartime right of seizing prizes at sea

loot applies especially to what is taken from victims of a catastrophe.

picked through the ruins for loot

Example Sentences

Noun After raiding the town, the soldiers helped themselves to any loot that they could find. The thieves got a lot of loot in the robbery. He made a lot of loot selling cars. Verb The soldiers were looting every house that they came to. Soldiers swept through the territory, looting, burning, and killing.
Recent Examples on the Web
Vow of the Disciple is one of Destiny’s best raids with some of its best raid loot in years. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2023 Players that earned loot by completing weekly raids, dungeons, bounties, and other content will need to replay the activities once servers are back online. Tom Warren, The Verge, 25 Jan. 2023 When the multimillionaire father (Nam Mun-cheol as Choi) of a latest victim reneges on promised loot, Kang makes good on his vow to pursue vengeance back in South Korea. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 3 June 2022 Spike was doing the video, the film company had to chip in, the record company had to chip in and, later on when the video got more grandiose and crazy, that was where the loot went. Kyle Eustice, SPIN, 1 Feb. 2023 The mystery has captivated local residents and received widespread attention in the Dutch and international news media, but its main question remains unanswered: Is the loot still there? Claire Moses, New York Times, 29 Jan. 2023 Hon says he’s seen a friend turn on loot boxes and immediately take in six figures. Wired, 29 July 2022 Some crews were paid mainly in loot, or in shares of their work output, a practice that declined over time but in the case of whalers, cod fishers, and fur-trappers, continued deep into the nineteenth century. James Belich, Fortune, 22 Jan. 2023 Buying a wacky skin in Fortnite doesn’t feel like a big deal, but in a game that’s all about finding cool loot, part of that cool factor comes from a piece of gear’s aesthetic appeal. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, 2 Sep. 2022
Following the formula of the previous game, players will hack, slash, and loot their way through dungeons, obtaining better gear and weapons and facing tougher enemies. Richard Newby, Time, 18 Dec. 2022 Horror fans in particular will gladly shell out for pristine collector’s editions of their favorite horror movies, yet studios still decided not to loot the room and turn away from an obvious revenue stream. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Dec. 2022 Damiba left the country for Togo Sunday two days after he himself was overthrown in a coup, while the new junta urged citizens not to loot or vandalize. Sam Mednick And Arsene Kabore, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Oct. 2022 Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba left the country for Togo Sunday two days after he himself was overthrown in a coup, while the new junta urged citizens not to loot or vandalize. Sam Mednick And Arsene Kabore, ajc, 2 Oct. 2022 Two of those detained allegedly posed as aid workers and tried to loot six truckloads of food for quake victims in the southern Hatay province, the news site said. Bloomberg.com, 11 Feb. 2023 Hitchcock's last British film before his Hollywood migration concerns a young woman (Maureen O'Hara) who investigates a series of shipwrecks overseen by a local squire (Charles Laughton), who employs a gang to loot the wrecked ships. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 24 Jan. 2023 Are people who loot, paint graffiti, threaten safety and generally make areas of the city uninhabitable by residents and businesses alike some hidden authority waging a social justice battle? Star Tribune, 14 June 2021 In addition, there are two types of looters: criminal elements like ISIS that use the money to fund terrorism, and impoverished local people who loot in order to feed their families. Kristin Butler, Discover Magazine, 21 Sep. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'loot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Hindi & Urdu lūṭ; akin to Sanskrit luṇṭati he plunders

First Known Use


circa 1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of loot was circa 1788

Dictionary Entries Near loot

Cite this Entry

“Loot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loot. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: something stolen or taken by force


2 of 2 verb
looter noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
: to rob especially during or following a catastrophe (as war, riot, or natural disaster)
: to rob especially on a large scale and usually by violence or corruption

intransitive verb

: to engage in robbing especially after a catastrophe
looter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on loot

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