|—vb , robs, robbing, robbed|
|1.||(tr) to take something from (someone) illegally, as by force or threat of violence|
|2.||to plunder (a house, shop, etc)|
|3.||(tr) to deprive unjustly: to be robbed of an opportunity|
|[C13: from Old French rober, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German roubōn to rob]|
"Lord, hou schulde God approve þat þou robbe Petur, and gif þis robbere to Poule in þe name of Crist?" [Wyclif, c.1380]To rob the cradle is attested from 1940s. Robber baron in the "corrupt, greedy financier" sense is attested from 1878.
To harm one person in order to do good to another; by extension, to use money or resources set aside for one purpose for a different one.
rob Peter to pay Paul
Take from one to give to another, shift resources. For example, They took out a second mortgage on their house so they could buy a condo in Floridathey're robbing Peter to pay Paul. Although legend has it that this expression alludes to appropriating the estates of St. Peter's Church, in Westminster, London, to pay for the repairs of St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1800s, the saying first appeared in a work by John Wycliffe about 1382.