Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of steal
Meaning of steal by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Middle English stelen, from Old English stelan, from Proto-Germanic *stelanan ( compare Dutch stelen, German stehlen, Norwegian stjele ), either from Proto-Indo-European *ster- ( compare Welsh herw ( “theft, raid” ), Ancient Greek στερέω ( stereō, “to deprive of” ) )[1] or Proto-Indo-European *stel( H )- ( “to stretch” ) ( compare Albanian peshtjell ( “I confuse, mess up, mix” ) mbeshtjell ( “to wrap up, cover, attract” ), Old Church Slavonic ( steljǫ, “I spread out ( bed, roof )” ), Ancient Greek τηλία ( tēlía, “playing table” ) )[2] .


    • enPR: stēl, IPA: /stiːl/, X-SAMPA: /sti:l/
      Rhymes: -iːl
      Homophone: steel, stele


    steal ( third-person singular simple present steals present participle stealing, simple past stole, past participle stolen )

    1. ( transitive ) To illegally, or without the owner's permission, take possession of something by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away .
      The government agents stole my identity .
      Three irreplaceable paintings were stolen from the gallery .
    2. ( transitive ) To get or effect surreptitiously or artfully .
    3. ( copyright law, chiefly informal, transitive ) To copy copyright-protected work without permission .
    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 .
    7. ( 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 .
    8. ( sports, transitive ) To dispossess





    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, field 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


    • astel, lates, least, leats, salet, setal, slate, stale, stela, taels, tales, teals, tesla

    See also

    1. ^ J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, s.v. "steal" ( London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999 ), 543 .
    2. ^ Vladimir Orel, A Handbook of Germanic Etymology, s.v. "stelanan" ( Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2003 ), 374 .

Explanation of steal by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. steal a base

    2. move stealthily

    3. take without the owner's consent

    1. a stolen base

    2. an advantageous purchase

    Definition of steal by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Stale ( stāl ), n. [OE. stale, stele, AS. stael, stel; akin to LG. & D. steel, G. stiel; cf. L. stilus stake, stalk, stem, Gr. στελεόν a handle, and E. stall, stalk, n.] The stock or handle of anything; as, “the stale of a rake”. [Written also steal, stele, etc.]

      But seeing the arrow's stale without, and that the head did go

      No further than it might be seen. Chapman.

    2. Steal ( stēl ), n. [See Stale a handle.] A handle; a stale, or stele. [Archaic or Prov. Eng.]

      And in his hand a huge poleax did bear.

      Whose steale was iron-studded but not long. Spenser.

    3. Steal ( stēl ), v. t. [imp. Stole ( stōl ); p. p. Stolen ( stōl'n ); p. pr. & vb. n. Stealing.] [OE. stelen, AS. stelan; akin to OFries. stela, D. stelen, OHG. stelan, G. stehlen, Icel. stela, SW. stjäla, Dan. stiaele, 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”.

      Maugre thy heed, thou must for indigence

      Or steal, or beg, or borrow, thy dispense. Chaucer.

      The man who stole a goose and gave away the giblets in alms. G. Eliot.

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

      They could insinuate and steal themselves under the same by their humble carriage and submission. Spenser.

      He will steal himself into a man's favor. Shak.

      3. To gain by insinuating arts or covert means.

      So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 2 Sam. xv. 6.

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

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

      5. To accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner; to try to carry out secretly; as, “to steal a look”.

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

      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.

      She yesterday wanted to steal a march of poor Liddy. Smollett.

      Fifty thousand men can not easily steal a march over the sea. Walpole.

      Syn. -- To filch; pilfer; purloin; thieve.

    4. Steal ( stēl ), v. i.
      1. To practice, or be guilty of, theft; to commit larceny or theft.

      Thou shalt not steal. Ex. xx. 15.

      2. To withdraw, or pass privily; to slip in, along, or away, unperceived; to go or come furtively. Chaucer.

      Fixed of mind to avoid further entreaty, and to fly all company, one night she stole away. Sir P. Sidney.

      From whom you now must steal, and take no leave. Shak.

      A soft and solemn breathing sound

      Rose like a steam of rich, distilled perfumes,

      And stole upon the air. Milton.