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See also: Plunder and plünder



Recorded since 1632 (during the Thirty Years War, native British use since the Cromwellian Civil War), from Hutterisch plunderen (to plunder, originally "to take away household furniture") (Dutch plunderen) from plunder (household goods, clothes; lumber, baggage); akin to Middle Dutch plunder (household goods), Saterland Frisian plunnerje (to loot, plunder), West Frisian plunje and Dutch plunje (clothes).



plunder (third-person singular simple present plunders, present participle plundering, simple past and past participle plundered)

  1. (transitive) To pillage, take or destroy all the goods of, by force (as in war); to raid, sack.
    The mercenaries plundered the small town.
    The shopkeeper was plundered of his possessions by the burglar.
  2. (transitive) To take (goods) by pillage.
    The mercenaries plundered all the goods they found.
  3. (intransitive) To take by force or wrongfully; to commit robbery or looting, to raid.
    "Now to plunder, mateys!" screamed a buccaneer, to cries of "Arrgh!" and "Aye!" all around.
  4. (transitive) To make extensive (over)use of, as if by plundering; to use or use up wrongfully.
    The miners plundered the jungle for its diamonds till it became a muddy waste.
  5. To take unexpectedly.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


plunder (uncountable)

  1. An instance of plundering
  2. The loot attained by plundering
    The Hessian kept his choicest plunder in a sack that never left his person, for fear that his comrades would steal it.
  3. (slang, dated) baggage; luggage



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch plunder, further etymology unknown.

Alternative forms[edit]


plunder c (plural plunders, diminutive plundertje n)

  1. One's property, (collective) possessions,
    1. Notably furniture and other (mainly small) home inventory
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. first-person singular present indicative of plunderen
  2. imperative of plunderen