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See also: shop-lifting


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The noun sense (from 1690) predates the verb.


shoplifting (countable and uncountable, plural shopliftings)

  1. (uncountable) The action of stealing goods from a shop; the action of the verb shoplift.
    • 1724, The Chronological Diary For the Year 1724, page 45:
      [] William Grove for robbing his Master of twenty-sive Guineas ; and Catharine Knox for Shoplifting.
    • 1757 December 22, The London Chronicle, Volume II: June 30 - December 31, page 594,
      Yesterday Afternoon a Woman well dreſs'd, was detected at Mr. Flint′s, a Haberdasher on London-Bridge, in Shoplifting, and on examining her, there were found on her ſome Goods belonging to Mr. Kennet, a Haberdasher at the ſame Place.
    • 2006, Gennaro F. Vito, Jeffrey R. Maahs, Ronald M. Holmes, Criminology: Theory, Research, And Policy, page 337:
      Shoplifting is one of the most prevalent crimes and it costs retailers millions of dollars each year.
  2. (countable) A theft from a shop during trading hours.
    • 2000, Elmer H Johnson, Carol Johnson, Linking Community and Corrections in Japan, page 180:
      In high school, he bleached his hair and began a series of shopliftings and bicycle thefts.
    • 2004, “An American”, in Arlington′s Blood, iUniverse, page 82:
      And we hardly even consider the countless robberies, shopliftings, burglaries, carjackings, kidnappings, stalkings, intimidations and harassments.
    • 2012, Lawrence Fennelly, Handbook of Loss Prevention and Crime Prevention, 5th edition, page 171:
      When we described the 80-20 rule, we mentioned that 5% of the stores in Danvers, Massachusetts, accounted for 50% of the reported shopliftings.




  1. present participle and gerund of shoplift