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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 of pilfer
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pilfered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By this time, a few of the jars had fermented and blown up, and a few others had been pilfered.

    Black Man's Burden Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Listen to him, and there never was a man so traded on,—so robbed and pilfered from.

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • But no sooner had Hind appeared at Douglas than honest citizens were pilfered at every turn.

    A Book of Scoundrels Charles Whibley
  • With their usual frankness they quite admitted that I might have pilfered the shilling.

    Tom, Dick and Harry Talbot Baines Reed
  • Quick, let's lock the door again and go back to our own quarters with the pilfered volume.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
  • For if I had read yours first you might have said that I had pilfered from you.

    The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 Marcus Tullius Cicero
British Dictionary definitions for pilfered

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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pilfered

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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14
16
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