Definition of clifty in English:



[with object]Australian
dated, informal
  • Steal or take without permission.

    ‘he had a primus he'd cliftied from one of the officers’
    no object ‘Australians called the locals thieves but were guilty of cliftying themselves’
    • ‘Even the notorious striped sentry box was cliftied from the barracks under cover of glaring headlights.’
    • ‘Well, cliftying was something we picked up from the people we'd relieved.’
    • ‘Every one of these items had been cliftied, and appropriately, the marquee was also illegally acquired.’
    • ‘They had an uncanny ability to slit a tent at night in just the right spot to clifty a rifle, ammunition, or other vital equipment.’
    • ‘A bust of Mussolini was cliftied by their squadron.’
    • ‘One of the mess ornaments was 'Stinky Miller', a skeleton cliftied from a museum.’
    purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift
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Early 20th century (as clefty): probably from Greek kleptēs ‘thief’.