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[per-loin, pur-loin] /pərˈlɔɪn, ˈpɜr lɔɪn/
verb (used with object)
to take dishonestly; steal; filch; pilfer.
verb (used without object)
to commit theft; steal.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English purloynen < Anglo-French purloigner to put off, remove, equivalent to pur- (< Latin prō- pro-1) + -loigner, derivative of loin at a distance, far off < Latin longē
Related forms
purloiner, noun
unpurloined, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purloined
  • Worse, he learned that the purloined verses had been successfully placed in several other poetry magazines across the country.
  • No late-night advertorials sell locking clubs to prevent wheel patterns from being purloined.
  • And on other occasions, the cause is best served by withholding money which may be purloined by greedy officials.
  • She checked behind the bar and found that a bank bag full of money had been purloined.
  • The purloined rubric, for all that, smacks somewhat of a diverting wrinkle.
  • Elsewhere, incoming opposition administrations have also found equipment and offices purloined.
  • The tale of this purloined truck began simply enough.
  • The thieves purloined thousands of charge cards, using some of them to make unauthorized purchases and selling others to fences.
  • It is also suspected that a few whole and charred tickets were purloined, but these cannot be used without the official stamp.
British Dictionary definitions for purloined


to take (something) dishonestly; steal
Derived Forms
purloiner, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French porloigner to put at a distance, from por- for +loin distant, from Latin longus long
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 purloined



mid-14c., "remove, misappropriate," from Anglo-French purloigner "remove," Old French porloigner "put off, retard, delay, drag out; be far away," from por- (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pro-) + Old French loing "far," from Latin longe, from longus (see long (adj.)). Sense of "to steal" (1540s) is a development in English. Related: Purloined; purloining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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