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

  • transitive v. To steal, often in a violation of trust. See Synonyms at steal.
  • intransitive v. To commit theft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To convert the property of another, often in breach of trust; to appropriate wrongfully.
  • v. To commit theft; to thieve.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To practice theft; to steal.
  • transitive v. To take or carry away for one's self; hence, to steal; to take by theft; to filch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put off; prolong; delay.
  • To set back or aside; put away; remove.
  • To remove, carry off, or take for one's self; hence, to take by theft; filch; steal.
  • To practise theft.

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

  • v. make off with belongings of others


Middle English purloinen, to remove, from Anglo-Norman purloigner : pur-, away (from Latin prō-; see pro-1) + loign, far (from Latin longē, from longus, long; see del-1 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Anglo-Norman purloigner, one of the variants of Old French porloigner. (Wiktionary)



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  • Confound it! Today I missed a perfectly fine opportunity to use this marvelous word.

    December 12, 2009

  • "My pager had delivered a disconcerting message; the unstealable had just been stolen. It was not the first time the Martin Chuzzlewit manuscript had been purloined."
    - Jasper Fforde, 'The Eyre Affair'.

    October 27, 2008

  • Ha! Purrfect.

    October 23, 2008

  • (n): The meowing muscle of felines.

    October 23, 2008