Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; pillage: plunder a village.
  • transitive v. To seize wrongfully or by force; steal: plundered the supplies.
  • intransitive v. To take booty; rob.
  • n. The act or practice of plundering.
  • n. Property stolen by fraud or force; booty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To pillage, take or destroy all the goods of, by force (as in war); to raid, sack.
  • v. To take by force or wrongfully; to commit robbery or looting, to raid.
  • v. To make extensive (over)use of, as if by plundering; to use or use up wrongfully.
  • n. An instance of plundering
  • n. The loot attained by plundering
  • n. baggage; luggage

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of plundering or pillaging; robbery. See Syn. of pillage.
  • n. That which is taken by open force from an enemy; pillage; spoil; booty; also, that which is taken by theft or fraud.
  • n. Personal property and effects; baggage or luggage.
  • transitive v. To take the goods of by force, or without right; to pillage; to spoil; to sack; to strip; to rob.
  • transitive v. To take by pillage; to appropriate forcibly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take goods or valuables forcibly from; pillage; spoil; strip; rob.
  • To take by pillage or open force: as, the enemy plundered all the goods they found.
  • Synonyms To despoil, sack, rifle, ravage. See pillage, n.
  • n. Household or personal effects; baggage; luggage.
  • n. The act of plundering; robbery.
  • n. That which is taken from an enemy by force; pillage; prey; spoil; booty.
  • n. Hence, that which is taken by theft, robbery, or fraud: as, the cashier escaped with his plunder.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. goods or money obtained illegally
  • v. destroy and strip of its possession
  • v. plunder (a town) after capture
  • v. steal goods; take as spoils
  • v. take illegally; of intellectual property

Etymologies

German plündern, from Middle High German plundern, from Middle Low German plunder, household goods.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since 1632 (during the Thirty Years War, native British use since the Cromwellian Civil War), from Hutterisch plunderen ("to plunder, originally "to take away household furniture"") (Dutch plunderen) from plunder ("household goods, clothes ("lumber, baggage," 14c.)"); akin to Middle Dutch plunder ("household goods"), West Frisian plunje and Dutch plunje ("clothes"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "At my time of life, food and clothing be all that is needed; and I have little occasion for what you call plunder, unless it may be, now and then, to barter for a horn of powder, or a bar of lead."

    The Prairie

  • But how much loot will modern-day Willie Suttons really be able to plunder from the cloud?

    Robert Holleyman: How Will Hackers Fare in the Cloud?

  • Overwhelming centralized force/power first evolves as a mechanism for plunder, is forced to expand as a mechanism for security and protection, then evolves as a force for domestic order and even justice -- something which in times becomes of interest to the powers that be.

    A Theory of Government, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Social-Democratic party of continental Europe, preaching discontent and class hatred, assailing law, property, and personal rights, and insinuating confiscation and plunder, is here.

    Preface

  • Under statist distribution, everyone earns in proportion to the amount he can plunder from the producers.

    The Washington Post discovers fiscal responsibility. - Moe_Lane’s blog - RedState

  • Hard to say whether Catwallaun was intent on short-term plunder or long-term annexation.

    Early medieval armies: campaigning range

  • Canada is rich in plunder that would whet the appetite of foreign Imperialists with a need for cheap labor, resources, and data processing expertese.

    Fact check

  • The tsunami created by the energy plunder is engulfing humanity, pushing the ecosystems to the brink of imminent collapse.

    Think Progress » Big Oil Launches Attack On Al Gore

  • Once the plunder is gone, once the gold is torn up from the ground, there is nothing left for people except one thing: the call of the land itself.

    The Future of the North

  • Democratic party of continental Europe, preaching discontent and class hatred, assailing law, property, and personal rights, and insinuating confiscation and plunder, is here.

    Preface

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Comments

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  • The longest common word that becomes another word when said in pig Latin (UNDERPLAY).

    --Will Shortz's intro to "Wordplay: A curious dictionary of language oddities" by Chris Cole.

    May 17, 2008