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sneak thief

a burglar who sneaks into houses through open doors, windows, etc.
Origin of sneak thief
1855-60, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sneak-thief
Historical Examples
  • Perhaps it was a sneak-thief who has stolen the ax or the saw from the woodshed.

    The Young Bridge-Tender Arthur M. Winfield
  • The lover who seeks to be liberal is a hypocrite, a sneak-thief robbing his own heart.

    The Jucklins Opie Read
  • There was a Russo-Armenian, a sneak-thief, and he robbed an Indian officer of some tobacco.

  • Like a sneak-thief, too, emerges a shock-headed navigator in his shirt-sleeves.

    With The Night Mail Rudyard Kipling
  • If the mother were away, the house would be shut up; and the Golden Wasp, that sneak-thief in royal robes, could not get in.

    The Mason-bees J. Henri Fabre
  • "Out with you, you sneak-thief; I am not afraid of you," Karl cried again.

    The Devil Joseph O'Brien
  • If there is a sneak-thief in our factory, he will receive his just deserts in due time, and that with no assistance from us.

    White Fire Roy J. Snell
  • More than that, he has the sly and stealthy manners of the sneak-thief and the brigand.

    Birds of the Rockies Leander Sylvester Keyser
  • It is both easy and difficult to compare a bandit to a sneak-thief, Napoleon to Cartouche.

    The Pace That Kills Edgar Saltus
  • "It am a sneak-thief," said Marcus, appearing with the small dog in his arms.

British Dictionary definitions for sneak-thief

sneak thief

a person who steals paltry articles from premises, which he enters through open doors, windows, etc
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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