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See also: loot-



  • IPA(key): /luːt/
  • Rhymes: -uːt
  • Homophone: lute (in accents with yod-dropping)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch loet, loete ("scoop, shovel, scraper"; > Modern Dutch loet), from Old Dutch *lōta, from Old Frankish *lōtija (scoop, ladle), from Proto-Germanic *hlōþþijō (ladle), from Proto-Indo-European *kleh₂- (to lay down, deposit, overlay). Cognate with Scots lute, luyt (scoop, ladle), West Frisian loete, lete, Middle Low German lōte (rake), French louche ("ladle"; < Germanic). Related to lade, ladle.

Alternative forms[edit]


loot (plural loots)

  1. (Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) A kind of scoop or ladle, chiefly used to remove the scum from brine-pans in saltworks.

Etymology 2[edit]

Attested 1788, a loan from Hindustani लूट (lūṭ)/لوٹ (lūṭ, spoil, booty), from Sanskrit लुण्ट् (luṇṭ, to rob, plunder). The verb is from 1842. Fallows (1885) records both the noun and the verb as "Recent. Anglo-Indian".

In origin only applicable to plundering in warfare.

A figurative meaning developed in American English in the 1920s, resulting in a generalized meaning by the 1950s.


loot (uncountable)

  1. The act of plundering.
    the loot of an ancient city
  2. plunder, booty, especially from a ransacked city.
  3. (colloquial, US) any prize or profit received for free, especially Christmas presents
    • 1956 "Free Loot for Children" (LIFE Magazine, 23 April 1956, p. 131)
  4. (video games) Items dropped by defeated enemies.
  • (plunder): For semantic relationships of this sense, see booty in the Thesaurus.
Related terms[edit]


loot (third-person singular simple present loots, present participle looting, simple past and past participle looted)

  1. To steal, especially as part of war, riot or other group violence.
    to loot valuables from a temple
    • 1833 "Gunganarian, the leader of the Chooars, continues his system of looting and murder", The asiatic Journal and monthly register for British India and its Dependencies Black, Parbury & Allen, p. 66.
  2. To steal from.
    to loot a temple for valuables
  3. (video games) to examine the corpse of a fallen enemy for loot.


  • Samuel Fallows, The progressive dictionary of the English language: a supplementary wordbook to all leading dictionaries of the United States and Great Britain (1885).




  • (file)



  1. first-, second- and third-person singular present indicative of loten
  2. imperative of loten

Middle Dutch[edit]


From Old Dutch *lōt, from Proto-Germanic *laudą.


lôot n

  1. lead (metal)
    Synonym: bli


This noun needs an inflection-table template.


Further reading[edit]

  • loot”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
  • loot (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929