Meaning of “steal” in the English Dictionary

"steal" in British English

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stealverb [ I or T ]

uk /stiːl/ us /stiːl/ stole, stolen

steal verb [ I or T ] (TAKE)

A2 to take something without the permission or knowledge of the owner and keep it:

She admitted stealing the money from her employers.
The number of cars which are stolen every year has risen.
They were so poor they had to steal in order to eat.

More examples

  • Employees who steal are dismissed automatically.
  • He knew it was wrong to steal, but the money just lying there was too great a temptation.
  • They stole jewellery valued at £50 000 .
  • Thieves broke into the safe and stole everything in it.
  • She stole the shoes from right under the assistant's nose.

steal verb [ I or T ] (DO QUICKLY)

to do something quickly or without being noticed:

She stole a glance at her watch.
He stole out of the room while no one was looking.

stealnoun [ S ]

uk /stiːl/ us /stiːl/ mainly US informal

(Definition of “steal” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"steal" in American English

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stealverb [ I/T ]

us /stil/ past tense stole /stoʊl/ , past participle stolen /ˈstoʊ·lən/

steal verb [ I/T ] (TAKE AWAY)

to take something without the permission or knowledge of the owner and keep it or use it:

[ T ] They broke into cars to steal the radios.
[ T ] He never paid me back, so basically he ended up stealing a hundred dollars from me.

To steal is also to do something quickly while trying not to be seen doing it:

[ I always + adv/prep ] to steal out of a room
[ T ] She stole a glance at her watch.

stealnoun [ C ]

us /stil/ infml

steal noun [ C ] (CHEAP ITEM)

something obtained at a much lower price than its true value:

At half the original price, that designer dress is a steal.

(Definition of “steal” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"steal" in Business English

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stealverb [ I or T ]

uk /stiːl/ us stole, stolen

to take something without the permission of its owner:

Employees who steal are dismissed automatically.
The number of cars which are stolen every year has risen.
steal (sth) from sb She admitted stealing the money from her employers.
steal a march on sb

to get an advantage over someone by acting before they do:

Our chief competitor managed to steal a march on us by bringing out their software ahead of ours.

stealnoun [ S ]

uk /stiːl/ us FINANCE

a product that has a very low price, or a price that is much lower than the original cost:

The shares may be a steal, but investors should remain wary.
Their financial commitment for the land will be around $600,000, which Peter considers a steal.

(Definition of “steal” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)