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Webster 1913 Edition


Steal

Steal

(stēl)
,
Noun.
[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.

Steal

(stēl)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp.
Stole
(stōl)
;
p. p.
Stolen
(stō′l’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.
Shakespeare
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.

Steal

(stēl)
,
Verb.
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.
Shakespeare
A soft and solemn breathing sound
Rose like a steam of rich, distilled perfumes,
And
stole
upon the air.
Milton.

Webster 1828 Edition


Steal

STEAL

,
Verb.
T.
pret. stole; pp. stolen, stole. [G. L, to take, to lift.]
1.
To take and carry away feloniously, as the personal goods of another. To constitute stealing or theft, the taking must be felonious, that is, with an intent to take what belongs to another, and without his consent.
Let him that stole, steal no more. Ephesians 4.
2.
To Withdraw or convey without notice or clandestinely.
They could insinuate and steal themselves under the same by submission.
3.
To gain or win by address or gradual and imperceptible means.
Variety of objects has a tendency to steal away the mind from its steady pursuit of any subject.
So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 2 Samuel 15.

STEAL

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To withdraw or pass privily; to slip along or away unperceived.
Fixed of mind to fly all company, one night she stole away.
From whom you now must steal and take no leave.
A soft and solemn breathing sound rose like a steam of rich distilld perfumes, and stole upon the air.
2.
To practice theft; to take feloniously. He steals for a livelihood.
Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20.

Definition 2021


steal

steal

English

Verb

steal (third-person singular simple present steals, present participle stealing, simple 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.
    • 1762, Charles Johnstone, The Reverie; or, A Flight to the Paradise of Fools, volume 2, Dublin: Printed by Dillon Chamberlaine, OCLC 519072825, page 202:
      At length, one night, when the company by ſome accident broke up much ſooner than ordinary, ſo that the candles were not half burnt out, ſhe was not able to reſiſt the temptation, but reſolved to have them ſome way or other. Accordingly, as ſoon as the hurry was over, and the ſervants, as ſhe thought, all gone to ſleep, ſhe ſtole out of her bed, and went down ſtairs, naked to her ſhift as ſhe was, with a deſign to ſteal them [].
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall, The Squire's Daughter, chapterII:
      "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.
    • Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
      Variety of objects has a tendency to steal away the mind from its steady pursuit of any subject.
    • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
      Always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, [] and do not think to steal it.
    • 1762, Charles Johnstone, The Reverie; or, A Flight to the Paradise of Fools, volume 2, Dublin: Printed by Dillon Chamberlaine, OCLC 519072825, page 202:
      At length, one night, when the company by ſome accident broke up much ſooner than ordinary, ſo that the candles were not half burnt out, ſhe was not able to reſiſt the temptation, but reſolved to have them ſome way or other. Accordingly, as ſoon as the hurry was over, and the ſervants, as ſhe thought, all gone to ſleep, ſhe ſtole out of her bed, and went down ſtairs, naked to her ſhift as ſhe was, with a deſign to ſteal them [].
  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.
    • 2011 October 23, Phil McNulty, Man Utd 1-6 Man City”, in BBC Sport:
      United's hopes of mounting a serious response suffered a blow within two minutes of the restart when Evans, who had endured a miserable afternoon, lost concentration and allowed Balotelli to steal in behind him. The defender's only reaction was to haul the Italian down, resulting in an inevitable red card.
  7. To withdraw or convey (oneself) clandestinely.
    • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
      They could insinuate and steal themselves under the same by their humble carriage and submission.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      He will steal himself into a man's favour.
  8. (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.
  9. (sports, transitive) To dispossess
    • 2011 February 12, Les Roopanarine, Birmingham 1-0 Stoke”, in BBC:
      However, until Gardner stole the ball from Dean Whitehead in the centre circle with the half-hour approaching, setting off on a run which culminated with a testing long-range shot - with debutant Obafemi Martins lurking, Begovic gathered at the second time of asking - Stoke looked the more credible contenders to break the deadlock.
  10. (humorous, transitive) To acquire; to get
    Hold on, I need to steal a phone from the office. I'll be back real quick.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Troponyms

Translations

See also

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.

Synonyms

  • (merchandise available at a very attractive price): bargain

Translations

References

  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.
  3. Guus Kroonen and Alexander Lubotsky, Proto-Indo-European *tsel- 'to sneak' and Germanic *stelan- 'to steal, approach stealthily', Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia vol. 14 (2009).

Anagrams