Definitions

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

  • n. An obsessive impulse to steal regardless of economic need.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a psychological disorder that causes an uncontrollable obsession with stealing without economic or material need.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A propensity to steal, claimed to be irresistible. This does not constitute legal irresponsibility.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See cleptomania, cleptomaniac.

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

  • n. an irresistible impulse to steal in the absence of any economic motive

Etymologies

Greek kleptein, to steal + -mania.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek κλέπτω (kleptō, "I steal") + -mania (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I try to catch myself and wonder if I am not overreacting, but seriously, how many people, both unemployed and underemployed, the latter being the great hidden secret the family does not want to face, sort of like Uncle John's drinking problem, or Aunt Millie's kleptomania, that is spinning exponentially out of control and threatens to accelerate the misery index beyond anything we are now facing.

    Lance Simmens: I Have a (Christmas) Dream

  • Today, reading the news, I find today's news stories have much to do with what can only be described as kleptomania by the few against the many:

    More on Practice...

  • "Then," resumed Roger, who had evidently been pondering what Lady Bernard had previously said, "you would consider what is called kleptomania as the impulse to steal transmitted by a thief-ancestor?"

    The Vicar's Daughter

  • Pathological gambling is similar to many other impulse control disorders such as kleptomania, pyromania, and trichotillomania.

    New morning ritual

  • _ -- Like many another I dislike the term "kleptomania" and would much prefer the term "pathological stealing" to denote the condition under consideration.

    Studies in Forensic Psychiatry

  • Sexual inversion is frequently regarded as one of them: i.e., as an episodic syndrome of a hereditary disease, taking its place beside other psychic stigmata, such as kleptomania and pyromania.

    Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 Sexual Inversion

  • But perhaps this was due in part, at least, to "kleptomania," -- a disease then but little understood.

    The Olden Time Series, Vol. 4: Quaint and Curious Advertisements Gleanings Chiefly from Old Newspapers of Boston and Salem, Massachusetts

  • Its chief one, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich: 'kleptomania' for example.

    NYT > Home Page

  • News Corp has been increasingly aggressive since Mr Murdoch said search engines such as Google engaged in '' kleptomania ''.

    The Sydney Morning Herald News Headlines

  • Claiming Google suffered from '' kleptomania '', Murdoch argued that because of falling advertising revenue online, his company needed to put paywalls around its content and aggressively attack those online companies that syndicated its headlines.

    PLIGG_Visual_Name - PLIGG_Visual_RSS_All

Comments

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  • Here in Germany Magpies are said to suffer from that.

    August 13, 2009

  • i'm glad i don't have kleptomania

    August 13, 2009

  • Yes! A friend of mine has this. When it gets really bad, he takes something for it.

    April 20, 2009

  • JM has heard that you can always take something for kleptomania

    April 10, 2009