9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[theev] /θiv/
verb (used with object), thieved, thieving.
to take by theft; steal.
verb (used without object), thieved, thieving.
to act as a thief; commit theft; steal.
Origin of thieve
before 950; Old English thēofian, derivative of theōf thief (not recorded in ME)
Related forms
thievingly, adverb
outthieve, verb (used with object), outthieved, outthieving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for thieving
  • Such incidents are not so surprising in a lucrative trade marred by thieving, swindling and espionage.
  • Better to move them all and leave their thieving, killing members to themselves and their pirate ships.
  • Others want to keep their money safe from expropriation by fickle governments, and hidden from thieving criminals.
  • She is the former head of two regimes that were both dissolved amid allegations of huge thieving.
  • If we're talking some dictator who is thieving from his people, the problem has nothing to do with taxation.
  • When thieving managers become investors, they prefer stability to anarchy.
  • It's petty, mean-spirited, paperclip-thieving greed.
  • No people's severance pay will be confiscated but that of thieving lib-lab politicians and their network and you know that.
  • The sooner they get of that thieving madman and his brood the better.
  • Thoughts of thieving are replaced by plans for revenge.
British Dictionary definitions for thieving


given to stealing other people's possessions


to steal (someone's possessions)
Derived Forms
thievery, noun
Word Origin
Old English thēofian, from thēofthief
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 thieving



Old English þeofian, from þeof (see thief). Rare in Old English, not common until 17c. Thieving first attested 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for thieving


  1. (also thickheaded) Stupid; dull-witted (1597+, variant 1801+)
  2. (also thick as thieves) Intimate; very well acquainted: The two of them are very thick (1756+, variant 1833+)
  3. Shapely; curvaceous (1980s+ Teenagers)
Related Terms

spread it thick

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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