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[pluhn-der] /ˈplʌn dər/
verb (used with object)
to rob of goods or valuables by open force, as in war, hostile raids, brigandage, etc.:
to plunder a town.
to rob, despoil, or fleece:
to plunder the public treasury.
to take wrongfully, as by pillage, robbery, or fraud:
to plunder a piece of property.
verb (used without object)
to take plunder; pillage.
plundering, pillage, or spoliation.
that which is taken in plundering; loot.
anything taken by robbery, theft, or fraud.
1620-30; < Dutch plunderen
Related forms
plunderable, adjective
plunderer, noun
plunderingly, adverb
plunderous, adjective
unplundered, adjective
unplunderous, adjective
unplunderously, adverb
1. rape, ravage, sack, devastate. 5. rapine, robbery. 6. booty, spoils. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for plundered
  • The working people becoming incensed plundered some of the shops and a few have been reopened.
  • For the clunker, this swap is the last stop before being plundered for parts and scrap metal.
  • It appeared to have been plundered during antiquity.
  • He had borrowed money at usurious rates to start a tiny store, which a thief had plundered.
  • The left plundered the working taxpayer and subsidised the lazy and inactive, for decades.
  • Of that, this two-volume dictionary may be partly guilty, since it is partly plundered.
  • After the looting a set of master keys to the museum was discovered in a plundered storeroom.
  • Trophies included plundered riches, as well as the heads and left ears of enemies.
  • Too much information seems to be being plundered forth too quickly, often accompanied by sweeping generalizations.
  • Funds are plundered to hire them, and the star himself must be smoothed, cosseted and humoured as long as the run lasts.
British Dictionary definitions for plundered


to steal (valuables, goods, sacred items, etc) from (a town, church, etc) by force, esp in time of war; loot
(transitive) to rob or steal (choice or desirable things) from (a place): to plunder an orchard
anything taken by plundering or theft; booty
the act of plundering; pillage
Derived Forms
plunderable, adjective
plunderer, noun
plunderous, adjective
Word Origin
C17: probably from Dutch plunderen (originally: to plunder household goods); compare Middle High German plunder bedding, household goods
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 plundered



1630s, from German plündern, from Middle High German plunderen "to plunder," originally "to take away household furniture," from plunder (n.) "household goods, clothes," also "lumber, baggage" (14c.; cf. Modern German Plunder "lumber, trash"), which is related to Middle Dutch plunder "household goods;" Frisian and Dutch plunje "clothes." A word acquired by English via the Thirty Years War and applied in native use after the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. Related: Plundered; plundering. Plunderbund was a U.S. colloquial word from 1914 referring to "a corrupt alliance of corporate and financial interests," with German Bund "alliance, league."


"goods taken by force; act of plundering," 1640s, from plunder (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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