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[shop-lif-ter] /ˈʃɒpˌlɪf tər/
a person who steals goods from the shelves or displays of a retail store while posing as a customer.
Origin of shoplifter
1670-80; obsolete shoplift shoplifter (shop + lift) + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shoplifter
  • If you're a known shoplifter, for example, you won't be able to go into a store without being flagged.
  • Profiles of eight addicts struggling toward recovery, from a former boxer on heroin to a compulsive shoplifter.
  • Personal safety should always take priority over retrieving property or detaining a shoplifter.
  • Though a deterrent to the average shoplifter, apparently some have discovered ways to deactivate these devices.
  • He is generally described in the press as a small-time shoplifter, but that characterization is highly misleading.
  • It is not when the shoplifter walked away from the camera department, left the store, or got in his car.
British Dictionary definitions for shoplifter


a person who steals goods from a shop during shopping hours
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 shoplifter

1670s, from shop (n.) + agent noun of lift (v.). Also in same sense shop-lift (1670s); shop-thief.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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