Language: Old English
Origin: stelan


1 verb
steal1 S3 W3 past tense stole past participle stolen

take something

[intransitive and transitive]SCC to take something that belongs to someone else:
Boys broke into a shop and stole £45 in cash.
steal from
He stole money from his parents.
steal something from somebody
He'd stolen the flowers from our garden.

use ideas

[intransitive and transitive] to use someone else's ideas without getting permission or without admitting that they are not your own ideas [= pinch]:
Inventors know that someone is always going to try to steal their designs.
steal something from somebody
A well-known scientist was accused of stealing his former student's ideas.

move somewhere

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to move quietly without anyone noticing you [= creep]
steal into/across etc
He dressed quietly and stole out of the house.

steal the show/limelight/scene

to do something, especially when you are acting in a play, that makes people pay more attention to you than to other people:
Elwood stole the show with a marvellous performance.

steal a look/glance etc

to look at someone or something quickly and secretly


a) [intransitive and transitive]DSB to run to the next base before someone hits the ball in the sport of baseball
b) [transitive] to suddenly take control of the ball, puck etc, when the other team had previously had control of it, for example in basketball or ice hockey:
Roy steals the ball four times in the first half.

steal a kiss

to kiss someone quickly when they are not expecting it

steal a march on somebody

to gain an advantage over someone by doing something that they had planned to do before them:
He was afraid another scholar was going to steal a march on him and publish first.

steal somebody's thunder

to get the success and praise someone else should have got, by doing what they had intended to do

steal somebody's heart

literary to make someone fall in love with you

➔ beg, borrow, or steal

at beg (8)

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