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pilfer

[pil-fer] /ˈpɪl fər/
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
1.
to steal, especially in small quantities.
Origin
late Middle English
1540-1550
1540-50; v. use of late Middle English pilfre booty < Middle French pelfre. See pelf
Related forms
pilferer, noun
unpilfered, adjective
Synonyms
thieve, purloin, filch, appropriate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pilfering
  • We can call her a pilfering magpie without finding her less watchable.
  • But by the time he was eighteen he had advanced from pilfering eggs and potatoes to stealing horses.
  • The sensors can also be used to detect package tampering and pilfering.
  • Its remote location helped to reduce pilfering as well.
  • If rabbits or groundhogs are pilfering from your garden, place a trap at the affected area or point of entry into the garden.
  • Lifesavers were dispatched to keep a lookout for wreckage and prevent pilfering.
  • As a result, the large web portals are unlikely to actively discourage smaller sites from pilfering the real-time data this way.
  • pilfering tuition dollars to make up for other shortfalls should not be tolerated.
British Dictionary definitions for pilfering

pilfer

/ˈpɪlfə/
verb
1.
to steal (minor items), esp in small quantities
Derived Forms
pilferer, noun
pilfering, noun
Word Origin
C14 pylfre (n) from Old French pelfre booty; see pelf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pilfering

pilfer

v.

1540s, from pilfer (n.) "spoils, booty," c.1400, from Old French pelfre "booty, spoils" (11c.), of unknown origin, possibly related to pelf. Related: Pilfered; pilfering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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