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

  • transitive v. To take (something, especially something of little value) in a furtive manner; snitch. See Synonyms at steal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To steal, to illegally take possession of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To steal or take privily (commonly, that which is of little value); to pilfer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To steal, especially in a small, sly way; pilfer; take from another on a petty scale, as for the supply of a present need, or in an underhand way, as by violation of trust or good faith.
  • n. A stick with a hook at the end, used in filching articles from windows, clothes-lines, etc.
  • n. An act of theft; also, the thing stolen.
  • n. One who filches or is given to filching; a filcher.

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

  • v. make off with belongings of others


Middle English filchen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English filchen ("to steal, pilfer"), of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to Old English fylcian ("to marshal troops"), Old English ġefylce ("band of men, army, host"). Related to folk. (Wiktionary)



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  • 'Now, who should there in Heaven be
    To fill your place, ma très-douce mie? 10
    To reach that spot I little care!
    There all the droning priests are met;
    All the old cripples, too, are there
    That unto shrines and altars cling
    To filch the Peter-pence we bring';— 15
    Said Aucassin to Nicolette.

    - Edmund Clarence Stedman, 'Provençal Lovers'.

    September 17, 2009

  • Citation on craw.

    October 2, 2008

  • ...he fell
    into the habitual practice of
    filching his Sunday supper from the fridge.

    This hebdomadary beano was quite
    contary to the expectations of
    the establishment...

    - Peter Reading, Inter-City, from Fiction, 1979

    June 26, 2008