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[filch] /fɪltʃ/
verb (used with object)
to steal (especially something of small value); pilfer:
to filch ashtrays from fancy restaurants.
Origin of filch
1250-1300; Middle English filchen to attack (in a body), take as booty, Old English fylcian to marshal (troops), draw (soldiers) up in battle array, derivative of gefylce band of men; akin to folk
Related forms
filcher, noun
filchingly, adverb
unfilched, adjective
purloin, take, swipe, lift, snaffle, pinch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for filch
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was the man with his hands in his pockets who saw the thing steadily and saw it whole—to filch a windy phrase.

  • You are to receive the money, and share it with the scoundrel who intends to filch it from me.

    Freaks of Fortune Oliver Optic
  • There were some eggs and a filch of bacon which they had brought from Winnipeg.

    The Land of Promise D. Torbett
  • The knave might filch his treasures; he was heedless of the knave.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Men seized the opportunity to take advantage of his tendencies and youth to filch from him his wealth.

  • So you filch sixpence out of my purse while I'm taking the clothes in.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • The men who take have no more license, from God or man, to take, than have those from whom they filch.

    Friday, the Thirteenth Thomas W. Lawson
  • Come, filch, you shall go with me into my own Room, and tell me the whole Story.

  • Progress is an honest man; the ideal and the absolute do not filch pocket-handkerchiefs.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
British Dictionary definitions for filch


(transitive) to steal or take surreptitiously in small amounts; pilfer
Derived Forms
filcher, noun
Word Origin
C16 filchen to steal, attack, perhaps from Old English gefylce band of men
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for filch

"steal," 1560s, slang, perhaps from c.1300 filchen "to snatch, take as booty," of unknown origin. Liberman says filch is probably from German filzen "comb through." Related: Filched; filching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for filch



To steal or grab something from someone: filched the remote control

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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