thief

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English thef, theef, þef, from Old English þēof, from Proto-Germanic *þeubaz. Spelling from Northern England, where /eːo/ became [iə] rather than [eː]. (Compare p.e. the spelling of deep from Old English deop.)

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) enPR: thēf, IPA(key): /θiːf/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːf

Noun[edit]

thief (plural thieves)

  1. One who carries out a theft.
    • Shakespeare
      [...] water-thieves and land-thieves
  2. One who steals another person's property, especially by stealth and without using force or violence.
  3. (obsolete) A waster in the snuff of a candle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bishop Hall to this entry?)

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