Definition of thieve in English:



  • Be a thief; steal something.

    ‘they began thieving again’
    with object ‘the students have been thieving my favourite art books’
    • ‘And Sammy, a shopkeeper, decides to combat thieving tearaways with retaliatory violence.’
    • ‘With her drinking and thieving, his mother proved a lifelong source of embarrassment.’
    • ‘That's when I got into crime - thieving from cars and doing burglaries.’
    • ‘And the government bureaucracy is riddled with corruption, thieving, lying and wastefulness.’
    • ‘‘I've been here about five or six months, and I haven't thieved since I've been in York,’ he says.’
    • ‘When I ran out of money I ended up borrowing and then thieving.’
    • ‘A shoplifter went prepared for thieving with a specially adapted carrier bag designed to stop alarms going off.’
    • ‘I'd suggest this was when he started thieving from temples.’
    • ‘I started going out thieving and burgling - anything I could to feed my habit.’
    • ‘Talking to many fishery owners over the years, it seems the biggest problem they face is fish thieving.’
    • ‘We must be on our guard against their slick, thieving ways’
    • ‘We aren't like the local autocrats, hypocritical and thieving to their rotten cores.’
    • ‘I spied, thieved and assassinated for the good of the kingdom.’
    • ‘If someone prospers by thieving or cheating, his prosperity is likely to turn to ashes.’
    • ‘This series follows a group of gang members as they fight their mortal enemies and seek out a living on the streets by selling drugs and thieving.’
    • ‘Left on the streets all day and scorned would you not become depressed, paranoid, turn to drink or drugs or thieve for a living?’
    • ‘Many take sport in killing for the sake of killing, thieving for the sake of theft, even if they do not need or use the spoils.’
    • ‘We want crime rates to drop and steps to be taken to convince young criminals that there is an alternative to thieving and breaking the law.’
    • ‘Another day, another email scam with fraudsters trying to extract sensitive information so they can thieve from people's bank accounts.’
    • ‘That's tantamount to thieving from your employers, that is!’
    purloin, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift
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Old English thēofian, from thēof ‘thief’. Transitive uses began in the late 17th century.