Definition of filch in US English:



[with object]informal
  • Pilfer or steal (something, especially a thing of small value) in a casual way.

    ‘I was promptly accused of filching Mr. Muir's idea’
    • ‘Mostly, they gamble with other people's money, filching fat fees whether the gamble pays off or not.’
    • ‘He had known this man since he was a boy, when he'd been caught more than once filching pies, cookies, or other sweets from the windows of unsuspecting wives and their maids in the neighborhoods of the city.’
    • ‘When John Major initiated the Lottery, he put safeguards in place to stop Government filching the cash.’
    • ‘Then it goes back, filches the worst and puts a dull sheen on it.’
    • ‘Both major candidates are filching each others’ rhetoric and pandering.’
    • ‘But I'm still working on filching my mom's secret recipes.’
    • ‘Those who have filched power - and they are not all in office, so they reckon on a continuity of that power beyond presidential elections - pretend to be saving the world and offering its population the chance to become their clients.’
    • ‘No one had snatched the last slice, so I filched it.’
    • ‘Mr Gallagher said ‘when the finger of suspicion points at the building industry people ought to look more closely at the kind of money being filched by the government on every purchase the first time buyer makes in this market.’’
    • ‘What did become clear was that the crows discriminated between their relatives and others when it came to filching their food.’
    • ‘He could have gotten away with things worse than helping me filch a sweet from his aunt, or a bit of harmless mischief.’
    • ‘Those expressions might have been reversed in the final minute, as Hearts came close to filching a winner.’
    • ‘Federal authorities have prosecuted thieves who have used stolen passwords to filch credit reports and steal from thousands of consumers.’
    • ‘Although the Princeton official's motives were not revealed, the break-in was thought to be an academic Watergate, an illicit attempt to filch information on what the competition was up to.’
    • ‘She kept both hands filled by filching another one off the tray.’
    • ‘In my judgment although I cannot rule it out it is less likely that the draft advice was filched or photocopied by a member of Chambers, an employee of Chambers or by Solicitors, clients, witnesses or others visiting Chambers.’
    • ‘He had filched food, stolen everything from money to clothes and had spent a lot of his time running from police for some crime or another.’
    • ‘She filches cleaning supplies from her parents' house when she goes home to visit.’
    • ‘Maybe he'd seen our happy faces, staring from Mrs. Larkin's apple tree, realising that there must be more to life than filching apples and scaring pigeons.’
    • ‘Other products also attempt to keep people from filching others’ words on the Web.’
    purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift
    pilfer, steal, thieve, rob, take, purloin, snatch, abstract, misappropriate, embezzle, shoplift
    View synonyms


Middle English: of unknown origin.