Steal Steal (st[=e]l), v. t. [imp. {Stole} (st[=o]l); p. p. {Stolen} (st[=o]"l'n); p. pr. & vb. n. {Stealing}.] [OE. stelen, AS. stelan; akin to OFries. stela, D. stelen, OHG. stelan, G. stehlen, Icel. stela, SW. stj["a]la, Dan. sti[ae]le, Goth. stilan.] 1. To take, and carry away, feloniously; to take without right or leave, and with intent to keep wrongfully; as, to steal the personal goods of another. [1913 Webster]

Maugre thy heed, thou must for indigence Or steal, or beg, or borrow, thy dispense. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

The man who stole a goose and gave away the giblets in alms. --G. Eliot. [1913 Webster]

2. To withdraw or convey clandestinely (reflexive); hence, to creep furtively, or to insinuate. [1913 Webster]

They could insinuate and steal themselves under the same by their humble carriage and submission. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

He will steal himself into a man's favor. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. To gain by insinuating arts or covert means. [1913 Webster]

So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. --2 Sam. xv. 6. [1913 Webster]

4. To get into one's power gradually and by imperceptible degrees; to take possession of by a gradual and imperceptible appropriation; -- with away. [1913 Webster]

Variety of objects has a tendency to steal away the mind from its steady pursuit of any subject. --I. Watts. [1913 Webster]

5. To accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner; to try to carry out secretly; as, to steal a look. [1913 Webster]

Always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, . . . and do not think to steal it. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

{To steal a march}, to march in a covert way; to gain an advantage unobserved; -- formerly followed by of, but now by on or upon, and sometimes by over; as, to steal a march upon one's political rivals. [1913 Webster]

She yesterday wanted to steal a march of poor Liddy. --Smollett. [1913 Webster]

Fifty thousand men can not easily steal a march over the sea. --Walpole. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To filch; pilfer; purloin; thieve. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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  • stolen — past part of steal Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. stolen …   Law dictionary

  • Stolen — Stol en, p. p. of {Steal}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stolen — [stō′lən] vt., vi. pp. of STEAL …   English World dictionary

  • stolen — Acquired, or possessed, as a result of some wrongful or dishonest act or taking, whereby a person willfully obtains or retains possession of property which belongs to another, without or beyond any permission given, and with the intent to deprive …   Black's law dictionary

  • stolen — sto|len1 [ˈstəulən US ˈstou ] the past participle of ↑steal stolen 2 stolen2 adj having been taken illegally ▪ stolen cars …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • stolen — the past participle of steal: stolen cars | books stolen from libraries …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • stolen — Obtained by larceny or theft. In a broader sense, obtained by larceny or any manner of conversion or embezzlement. Anno: 45 ALR 836. The word stolen , as used in the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act (18 USC § 2312), making it a criminal offense… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • stolen — adjective /ˈstəʊlən/ That has been stolen. See Also: theftable …   Wiktionary

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