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steal

[steel] /stil/
verb (used with object), stole, stolen, stealing.
1.
to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force:
A pickpocket stole his watch.
2.
to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.
3.
to take, get, or win insidiously, surreptitiously, subtly, or by chance:
He stole my girlfriend.
4.
to move, bring, convey, or put secretly or quietly; smuggle (usually followed by away, from, in, into, etc.):
They stole the bicycle into the bedroom to surprise the child.
5.
Baseball. (of a base runner) to gain (a base) without the help of a walk or batted ball, as by running to it during the delivery of a pitch.
6.
Games. to gain (a point, advantage, etc.) by strategy, chance, or luck.
7.
to gain or seize more than one's share of attention in, as by giving a superior performance:
The comedian stole the show.
verb (used without object), stole, stolen, stealing.
8.
to commit or practice theft.
9.
to move, go, or come secretly, quietly, or unobserved:
She stole out of the house at midnight.
10.
to pass, happen, etc., imperceptibly, gently, or gradually:
The years steal by.
11.
Baseball. (of a base runner) to advance a base without the help of a walk or batted ball.
noun
12.
Informal. an act of stealing; theft.
13.
Informal. the thing stolen; booty.
14.
Informal. something acquired at a cost far below its real value; bargain:
This dress is a steal at $40.
15.
Baseball. the act of advancing a base by stealing.
Idioms
16.
steal someone's thunder, to appropriate or use another's idea, plan, words, etc.
Origin
900
before 900; 1860-65 for def 5; Middle English stelen, Old English stelan; cognate with German stehlen, Old Norse stela, Gothic stilan
Related forms
stealable, adjective
stealer, noun
nonstealable, adjective
outsteal, verb (used with object), outstole, outstolen, outstealing.
Can be confused
burglarize, mug, rip off, rob, steal (see synonym study at rob)
steal, steel, stele.

thunder

[thuhn-der] /ˈθʌn dər/
noun
1.
a loud, explosive, resounding noise produced by the explosive expansion of air heated by a lightning discharge.
2.
any loud, resounding noise:
the thunder of applause.
3.
a threatening or startling utterance, denunciation, or the like.
verb (used without object)
4.
to give forth thunder (often used impersonally with it as the subject):
It thundered last night.
5.
to make a loud, resounding noise like thunder:
The artillery thundered in the hills.
6.
to utter loud or vehement denunciations, threats, or the like.
7.
to speak in a very loud tone.
8.
to move or go with a loud noise or violent action:
The train thundered through the village.
verb (used with object)
9.
to strike, drive, inflict, give forth, etc., with loud noise or violent action.
Idioms
10.
steal someone's thunder,
  1. to use for one's own purposes and without the knowledge or permission of the originator the inventions or ideas of another.
  2. to ruin or detract from the effect of a performance, remark, etc., by anticipating it.
Origin
before 900; (noun) Middle English thonder, thunder, Old English thunor; cognate with Dutch donder, German Donner; Old Norse thōrr Thor, literally, thunder; (v.) Middle English thondren, Old English thunrian, derivative of the v.; akin to Latin tonāre to thunder
Related forms
thunderer, noun
thunderless, adjective
outthunder, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for steal someone's thunder

steal

/stiːl/
verb steals, stealing, stole, stolen
1.
to take (something) from someone, etc without permission or unlawfully, esp in a secret manner
2.
(transitive) to obtain surreptitiously
3.
(transitive) to appropriate (ideas, etc) without acknowledgment, as in plagiarism
4.
to move or convey stealthily: they stole along the corridor
5.
(intransitive) to pass unnoticed: the hours stole by
6.
(transitive) to win or gain by strategy or luck, as in various sports: to steal a few yards
7.
steal a march on, to obtain an advantage over, esp by a secret or underhand measure
8.
steal someone's thunder, to detract from the attention due to another by forestalling him
9.
steal the show, to be looked upon as the most interesting, popular, etc, esp unexpectedly
noun (informal)
10.
the act of stealing
11.
something stolen or acquired easily or at little cost
Word Origin
Old English stelan; related to Old Frisian, Old Norse stela Gothic stilan, German stehlen

thunder

/ˈθʌndə/
noun
1.
a loud cracking or deep rumbling noise caused by the rapid expansion of atmospheric gases which are suddenly heated by lightning
2.
any loud booming sound
3.
(rare) a violent threat or denunciation
4.
steal someone's thunder, to detract from the attention due to another by forestalling him or her
verb
5.
to make (a loud sound) or utter (words) in a manner suggesting thunder
6.
(intransitive; with it as subject) to be the case that thunder is being heard
7.
(intransitive) to move fast and heavily: the bus thundered downhill
8.
(intransitive) to utter vehement threats or denunciation; rail
Derived Forms
thunderer, noun
thundery, adjective
Word Origin
Old English thunor; related to Old Saxon thunar, Old High German donar, Old Norse thōrr; see Thor, Thursday
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 steal someone's thunder

thunder

n.

Old English þunor, from Proto-Germanic *thunraz (cf. Old Norse þorr, Old Frisian thuner, Middle Dutch donre, Dutch donder, Old High German donar, German Donner "thunder"), from PIE *(s)tene- "to resound, thunder" (cf. Sanskrit tanayitnuh "thundering," Persian tundar "thunder," Latin tonare "to thunder"). Swedish tordön is literally "Thor's din." The intrusive -d- is also found in Dutch and Icelandic versions of the word.

v.

Old English þunrian, from the source of thunder (n.). Figurative sense of "to speak loudly, threateningly, bombastically" is recorded from mid-14c. Related: Thundered; thundering.

steal

v.

Old English stelan "to commit a theft" (class IV strong verb; past tense stæl, past participle stolen), from Proto-Germanic *stelanan (cf. Old Saxon stelan, Old Norse, Old Frisian stela, Dutch stelen, Old High German stelan, German stehlen, Gothic stilan), of unknown origin.

Most IE words for steal have roots in notions of "hide," "carry off," or "collect, heap up." Attested as a verb of stealthy motion from c.1300 (e.g. to steal away, late 14c.); of glances, sighs, etc., from 1580s. To steal (someone) blind first recorded 1974.

n.

"a bargain," by 1942, American English colloquial, from steal (v.). Baseball sense of "a stolen base" is from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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steal someone's thunder in Medicine

steal (stēl)
n.
The diversion of blood flow from its normal course.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
steal someone's thunder in Science
thunder
  (thŭn'dər)   
The explosive noise that accompanies a stroke of lightning. Thunder is a series of sound waves produced by the rapid expansion of the air through which the lightning passes. Sound travels about 1 km in 3 seconds (about 1 mi in 5 seconds). The distance between an observer and a lightning flash can be calculated by counting the number of seconds between the flash and the thunder. See Note at lightning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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steal someone's thunder in Culture

steal someone's thunder definition


To upstage someone; to destroy the effect of what someone does or says by doing or saying the same thing first: “The Republicans stole the Democrats' thunder by including the most popular provisions of the Democratic proposal in their own bill.”

thunder definition


The noise created when air rushes back into a region from which it has been expelled by the passage of lightning.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for steal someone's thunder

steal

noun

A great bargain: I got that for half price, a real steal (1940s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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steal someone's thunder in the Bible

often referred to in Scripture (Job 40:9; Ps. 77:18; 104:7). James and John were called by our Lord "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17). In Job 39:19, instead of "thunder," as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version translates (ra'amah) by "quivering main" (marg., "shaking"). Thunder accompanied the giving of the law at Sinai (Ex. 19:16). It was regarded as the voice of God (Job 37:2; Ps. 18:13; 81:7; comp. John 12:29). In answer to Samuel's prayer (1 Sam. 12:17, 18), God sent thunder, and "all the people greatly feared," for at such a season (the wheat-harvest) thunder and rain were almost unknown in Palestine.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with steal someone's thunder

steal someone's thunder

Use or appropriate another's idea, especially to one's advantage, as in It was Harold's idea but they stole his thunder and turned it into a massive advertising campaign without giving him credit. This idiom comes from an actual incident in which playwright and critic John Dennis (1657–1734) devised a “thunder machine” (by rattling a sheet of tin backstage) for his play, Appius and Virginia (1709), and a few days later discovered the same device being used in a performance of Macbeth, whereupon he declared, “They steal my thunder.”

thunder

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for steal someone's thunder

thunder

sound caused by a lightning discharge. Lightning heats the air in its path and causes a large over-pressure of the air within its channel. The channel expands supersonically into the surrounding air as a shock wave and creates an acoustic signal that is heard as thunder. The loudest thunder heard after a flash to the ground is actually produced by the return stroke that follows the path forged by the initial stroke, or stepped leader. The return stroke is louder because it contains a larger and faster-rising electric current than either the leader or a discharge within a cloud. Because the path of a lightning channel is usually branched, tortuous, and very long, sound waves from more distant portions arrive later than those from nearer portions, accounting for the duration of thunder and for the characteristic claps and rumbles. The distance to a flash can be estimated by measuring the time delay between the flash of light and the thunder-the formula being about three seconds for each kilometre (or five seconds for each mile). Thunder is seldom heard at distances greater than about 20 km (12 miles). See also thunderstorm.

Learn more about thunder with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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