If you notice that every time your friend Sarah comes over, all your binder clips and pens disappear, it may be that your friend is a kleptomaniac.

If you’ve ever known a kleptomaniac, it won’t surprise you to learn that the word kleptomaniac has origins that trace back to the Greek words for “thief” and “madness.” A kleptomaniac has a mental disorder that compels the person to steal. Unlike a shoplifter, who will steal an item he or she wants or needs, a kleptomaniac steals for the thrill of stealing, often taking items that have little or no value.

Definitions of kleptomaniac

n someone with an irrational urge to steal in the absence of an economic motive

Type of:
someone who takes for his or her own use (especially without permission)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.