• To take illegally, or without the owner's permission, something owned by someone else.
  • To appropriate without giving credit or acknowledgement.
  • To get or effect surreptitiously or artfully.
  • To acquire at a low price.
  • To draw attention unexpectedly in (an entertainment), especially by being the outstanding performer. Usually used in the phrase steal the show.
  • To move silently or secretly.
  • To convey (something) clandestinely.
  • To withdraw or convey (oneself) clandestinely.
  • 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.
  • To dispossess
  • To borrow for a short moment.


  • The act of stealing.
  • A piece of merchandise available at a very low, attractive price.
  • A situation in which a defensive player actively takes possession of the ball or puck from the opponent's team.
  • A stolen base.
  • Scoring in an end without the hammer.
  • A policy in database systems that a database follows which allows a transaction to be written on nonvolatile storage before its commit occurs.


Similar words

Opposite words


  • From Middle English stelen, from Old English stelan, from Proto-West Germanic *stelan, from Proto-Germanic *stelaną.
  • Compare West Frisian stelle, Low German stehlen, Dutch stelen, German stehlen, Danish stjæle, Swedish stjäla, Norwegian stjele); see below for more.
  • Proposed etymologies beyond Germanic are numerous and include
  • Proto-Indo-European *ster-: compare Welsh herw ("theft, raid"), Ancient Greek στερέω ("to deprive of")
  • Proto-Indo-European *stel(H)- ("to stretch"): compare Albanian pë/mbështjell, Old Church Slavonic стєлѭ ("I spread out (bed, roof)"), Ancient Greek τηλία ("playing table")
  • Proto-Indo-European *tsel- ("to sneak"): compare Sanskrit त्सरति ("creep, sneak up on") and other forms under Pokorny 5. *sel- "schleichen, kriechen"

Modern English dictionary

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