Pronunciation Verb

steal (steals, present participle stealing; past stole, past participle stolen)

  1. (transitive) To take illegally, or without the owner's permission, something owned by someone else.
    Three irreplaceable paintings were stolen from the gallery.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604 ↗; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620 ↗:
      "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. I never did that. I always made up my mind I'd be a big man some day, and—I'm glad I didn't steal."
  2. (transitive, of ideas, words, music, a look, credit, etc.) To appropriate without giving credit or acknowledgement.
    They stole my idea for a biodegradable, disposable garbage de-odorizer.
  3. (transitive) To get or effect surreptitiously or artfully.
    He stole glances at the pretty woman across the street.
    • Variety of objects has a tendency to steal away the mind from its steady pursuit of any subject.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Of Great Place
      Always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, […] and do not think to steal it.
  4. (transitive, colloquial) To acquire at a low price.
    He stole the car for two thousand less than its book value.
  5. (transitive) To draw attention unexpectedly in (an entertainment), especially by being the outstanding performer. Usually used in the phrase steal the show.
  6. (intransitive) To move silently or secretly.
    He stole across the room, trying not to wake her.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Ch.1:
      "Did he take his bottle well?" Mrs. Flanders whispered, and Rebecca nodded and went to the cot and turned down the quilt, and Mrs. Flanders bent over and looked anxiously at the baby, asleep, but frowning. The window shook, and Rebecca stole like a cat and wedged it.
  7. (transitive) To convey (something) clandestinely.
  8. To withdraw or convey (oneself) clandestinely.
    • They could insinuate and steal themselves under the same by their humble carriage and submission.
    • c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene vi]:
      He will steal himself into a man's favour.
  9. (transitive, baseball) To advance safely to (another base) during the delivery of a pitch, without the aid of a hit, walk, passed ball, wild pitch, or defensive indifference.
  10. (sports, transitive) To dispossess
  11. (informal, transitive) To borrow for a short moment.
    Can I steal your pen?
  • (to illegally take possession of) seeSynonyms en
  • (to secretly move) sneak
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

steal (plural steals)

  1. The act of stealing.
  2. A piece of merchandise available at a very attractive price.
    At this price, this car is a steal.
  3. (basketball, ice hockey) A situation in which a defensive player actively takes possession of the ball or puck from the opponent's team.
  4. (baseball) A stolen base.
  5. (curling) Scoring in an end without the hammer.
  6. (computing) A policy in database systems that a database follows which allows a transaction to be written on nonvolatile storage before its commit occurs.
  • (merchandise available at a very attractive price) (great / real / very good) bargain
Translations Translations

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