Pronunciation Noun

thief (plural thieves)

  1. One who carries out a theft.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:thief
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, 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 I, scene iii]:
      water-thieves and land-thieves
  2. One who steal#Verb|steals another person's property, especially by stealth and without using force#Noun|force or violence.
    • 1580, Thomas Tusser, “74. A Digression.”, in Fiue Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie: […], imprinted at London: By Henrie Denham [beeing the assigne of William Seres] […], OCLC 837741850 ↗; republished as W[illiam] Payne and Sidney J[ohn Hervon] Herrtage, editors, Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie. […], London: Published for the English Dialect Society by Trübner & Co., […], 1878, OCLC 7391867535 ↗, stanza 4, page 166 ↗:
      Take heed to false harlots, and more, ye wot#English|wot what. / If noise ye heare, / Looke all be cleare: / lest#English|Least drabs doe noy#English|noie thee, / And theeues destroie thee.
  3. (obsolete) A waster in the snuff of a candle.
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