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From Middle English thevysch, equivalent to thief +‎ -ish. Cognate with Saterland Frisian däifsk (thievish), Dutch diefs (thievish), German Low German deevsk (thievish), German diebisch (thievish).


thievish (comparative more thievish, superlative most thievish)

  1. Having a tendency to steal.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], part 1, 2nd edition, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene ii:
      I tel you true my hart is ſwolne with wrath,
      On this ſame theeuish villain Tamburlain.
      And of that false Coſroe, my traiterous brother,
      Would it not grieue a King to be so abuſ’d?
      And haue a thouſand horſmen tane away?
  2. Having the manner of a thief; furtive; stealthy.