I. verb (stole; stolen; stealing) Etymology: Middle English stelen, from Old English stelan; akin to Old High German stelan to steal Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice 2. to come or go secretly, unobtrusively, gradually, or unexpectedly 3. to steal or attempt to steal a base transitive verb 1. a. to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully <
stole a car
b. to take away by force or unjust means <
they've stolen our liberty
c. to take surreptitiously or without permission <
steal a kiss
d. to appropriate to oneself or beyond one's proper share ; make oneself the focus of <
steal the show
2. a. to move, convey, or introduce secretly ; smuggle b. to accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner <
steal a visit
3. a. to seize, gain, or win by trickery, skill, or daring <
a basketball player adept at stealing the ball
stole the election
b. of a base runner to reach (a base) safely solely by running and usually catching the opposing team off guard • stealable adjectivestealer noun Synonyms: steal, pilfer, filch, purloin mean to take from another without right or without detection. steal may apply to any surreptitious taking of something and differs from the other terms by commonly applying to intangibles as well as material things <
steal jewels
stole a look at the gifts
. pilfer implies stealing repeatedly in small amounts <
pilfered from his employer
. filch adds a suggestion of snatching quickly and surreptitiously <
filched an apple from the tray
. purloin stresses removing or carrying off for one's own use or purposes <
printed a purloined document
. II. noun Date: circa 1825 1. the act or an instance of stealing 2. a fraudulent or questionable political deal 3. bargain 2 <
it's a steal at that price

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • steal — steal, *pilfer, filch, purloin, lift, pinch, snitch, swipe, cop are comparable when they mean to take another s possession without right and without his knowledge or permission. Steal, the commonest and most general of the group, can refer to any …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • steal — ► VERB (past stole; past part. stolen) 1) take (something) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it. 2) give or take surreptitiously or without permission: I stole a look at my watch. 3) move somewhere quietly or… …   English terms dictionary

  • steal — [stēl] vt. stole, stolen, stealing [ME stelen < OE stælan, akin to Ger stehlen, prob. altered < IE base * ster , to rob > Gr sterein, to rob] 1. to take or appropriate (another s property, ideas, etc.) without permission, dishonestly, or …   English World dictionary

  • steal — vt stole, sto·len, steal·ing [Old English stelan]: to take or appropriate without right or consent and with intent to keep or make use of see also robbery, theft Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • steal — steal; steal·able; steal·age; steal·er; steal·ing·ly; …   English syllables

  • Steal — (st[=e]l), v. i. 1. To practice, or be guilty of, theft; to commit larceny or theft. [1913 Webster] Thou shalt not steal. Ex. xx. 15. [1913 Webster] 2. To withdraw, or pass privily; to slip in, along, or away, unperceived; to go or come furtively …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Steal — may refer to: * Theft * The gaining of a stolen base in baseball * Steal (basketball), a situation when the defensive player actively takes possession of the ball from the opponent s team * In professional sports, a steal is a draft pick who… …   Wikipedia

  • steal — O.E. stelan to commit a theft (class IV strong verb; past tense stæl, pp. stolen), from P.Gmc. *stelanan (Cf. O.S. stelan, O.N., O.Fris. stela, Du. stelen, O.H.G. stelan, Ger. stehlen, Goth. stilan), of unknown origin. Most IE words for steal… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Steal — (st[=e]l), n. [See {Stale} a handle.] A handle; a stale, or stele. [Archaic or Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] And in his hand a huge poleax did bear. Whose steale was iron studded but not long. Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • steal — [v1] take something without permission abduct, appropriate, blackmail, burglarize, carry off, cheat, cozen, defraud, despoil, divert, embezzle, heist, hold for ransom, hold up, housebreak*, keep, kidnap, lift*, loot, make off with*,… …   New thesaurus

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