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[rob] /rɒb/
verb (used with object), robbed, robbing.
to take something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence; steal from.
to deprive (someone) of some right or something legally due:
They robbed her of her inheritance.
to plunder or rifle (a house, shop, etc.).
to deprive of something unjustly or injuriously:
The team was robbed of a home run hitter when the umpire called it a foul ball. The shock robbed him of his speech.
Mining. to remove ore or coal from (a pillar).
verb (used without object), robbed, robbing.
to commit or practice robbery.
rob Peter to pay Paul, to take something from one person or thing to pay one's debt or hypothetical debt to another, as to sacrifice one's health by overworking.
1175-1225; Middle English robben < Old French robber < Germanic; compare Old High German roubōn. See reave1
Related forms
unrobbed, adjective
Can be confused
burglarize, mug, rip off, rob, steal (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Rob, rifle, sack refer to seizing possessions that belong to others. Rob is the general word for taking possessions by unlawful force or violence: to rob a bank, a house, a train. A term with a more restricted meaning is rifle, to make a thorough search for what is valuable or worthwhile, usually within a small space: to rifle a safe. On the other hand, sack is a term for robbery on a huge scale during war; it suggests destruction accompanying pillage, and often includes the indiscriminate massacre of civilians: to sack a town or district. 2. defraud, cheat.


[rob] /rɒb/
a male given name, form of Robert. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for rob
  • rob fears he is no longer needed when his cowriters do a show without his help.
  • Serving on jury duty, rob finds himself siding with the beautiful blonde defendant.
  • rob tries valiantly to help an old radio comedy writer make a comeback.
  • rob suspects cowriters buddy and sally of carrying on a clandestine romance.
  • An office crisis sets rob to reminiscing about his hectic early days as a comedy writer.
  • rob finds himself very out of place at a dinner party for celebrated literati.
  • rob and jerry invest in a sailboat and find they have embarked on a disastrous venture.
  • rob thinks he has witnessed two crooks running from the scene of a crime.
  • rob is forced to squelch the scheme of an opportunistic old friend.
  • rob resorts to psychological warfare to get even with a practical joker.
British Dictionary definitions for rob


verb robs, robbing, robbed
(transitive) to take something from (someone) illegally, as by force or threat of violence
to plunder (a house, shop, etc)
(transitive) to deprive unjustly to be robbed of an opportunity
Derived Forms
robber, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French rober, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German roubōn to rob
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 rob
c.1175 (implied in robber), from O.Fr. rober, from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. roubon "to rob," roub "spoil, plunder;" O.E. reafian, source of the reave in bereave), from P.Gmc. *raubojanan, from *raub- "to break."
"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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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