follow Dictionary.com

Why is the ninth month called September?

thief

[theef] /θif/
noun, plural thieves.
1.
a person who steals, especially secretly or without open force; one guilty of theft or larceny.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English thēof; cognate with Dutch dief, German Dieb, Old Norse thjōfr, Gothic thiufs
Related forms
underthief, noun, plural underthieves.
Can be confused
burglar, mugger, robber, thief (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
burglar, pickpocket, highwayman. Thief, robber refer to one who steals. A thief takes the goods or property of another by stealth without the latter's knowledge: like a thief in the night. A robber trespasses upon the house, property, or person of another, and makes away with things of value, even at the cost of violence: A robber held up two women on the street.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for thief
  • If a thief steals one, they'd be able to sell it for a lot of money.
  • The marginal cost of time vs the marginal gain of the item the thief steals.
  • The thief who steals your newspaper is admittedly a scuzzball, but mostly elicits annoyance and contempt.
  • If you think you face difficult times, imagine you're a car thief.
  • The thief did not even bother to re-copy the report.
  • Of course, it is open to a thief who believes his swag might have been so marked to attempt such cleaning himself.
  • The alleged thief was taken into custody but no charges were brought for lack of evidence.
  • He apparently believes this is a question of moral right vs moral wrong, righteous property owner versus thief.
  • Or perhaps cities with more guns might be better as the thief is unlikely to know about any given household.
  • It turns out the thief has entered my pocket, and left with my goods, through the phone itself.
British Dictionary definitions for thief

thief

/θiːf/
noun (pl) thieves (θiːvz)
1.
a person who steals something from another
2.
(criminal law) a person who commits theft
Derived Forms
thievish, adjective
thievishly, adverb
thievishness, noun
Word Origin
Old English thēof; related to Old Frisian thiāf, Old Saxon thiof, Old High German diob, Old Norse thjōfr, Gothic thiufs
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for thief
n.

Old English þeof, from Proto-Germanic *theubaz (cf. Old Frisian thiaf, Old Saxon thiof, Middle Dutch dief, Old High German diob, German dieb, Old Norse þiofr, Gothic þiufs), probably from PIE *teup- (cf. Lithuanian tupeti "to crouch down").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for thief

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for thief

11
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with thief