Steal

Definition of Steal

Pronunciation: stēl
n.1.A handle; a stale, or stele.
And in his hand a huge poleax did bear.
Whose steale was iron-studded but not long.
- Spenser.
v. t.1.To take, and carry away, feloniously; to take without right or leave, and with intent to keep wrongfully; as, to steal the personal goods of another.
[imp. Stole (stōl); p. p. Stolen (stō"l'n); p. pr. & vb. n. Stealing.]
Maugre thy heed, thou must for indigence
Or steal, or beg, or borrow, thy dispense.
- Chaucer.
The man who stole a goose and gave away the giblets in alms.
- G. Eliot.
2.To withdraw or convey clandestinely (reflexive); hence, to creep furtively, or to insinuate.
They could insinuate and steal themselves under the same by their humble carriage and submission.
- Spenser.
He will steal himself into a man's favor.
- Shak.
3.To gain by insinuating arts or covert means.
So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
- 2 Sam. xv. 6.
4.To get into one's power gradually and by imperceptible degrees; to take possession of by a gradual and imperceptible appropriation; - with away.
Variety of objects has a tendency to steal away the mind from its steady pursuit of any subject.
- I. Watts.
5.To accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner; to try to carry out secretly; as, to steal a look.
Always, when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, . . . and do not think to steal it.
- Bacon.
To steal a march
to march in a covert way; to gain an advantage unobserved; - formerly followed by of, but now by on or upon, and sometimes by over; as, to steal a march upon one's political rivals.
Fifty thousand men can not easily steal a march over the sea.
- Walpole.
v. i.1.To practice, or be guilty of, theft; to commit larceny or theft.
Thou shalt not steal.
- Ex. xx. 15.
2.To withdraw, or pass privily; to slip in, along, or away, unperceived; to go or come furtively.
Fixed of mind to avoid further entreaty, and to fly all company, one night she stole away.
- Sir P. Sidney.
From whom you now must steal, and take no leave.
- Shak.
A soft and solemn breathing sound
Rose like a steam of rich, distilled perfumes,
And stole upon the air.
- Milton.

Related Words

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