Larceny is the legal term for stealing. Grand larceny is when you take something worth a lot of money, petty larceny when the stolen item is worth relatively little.

Larceny is used when talking about stealing someone's property in regards to the law. If you illegally download music or plagiarize a text, that may be theft, but it is not larceny because there was no physical property involved. If you take a friend's yoyo and don't give it back, it's stealing — unless your friend calls the police and has you arrested on charges of larceny.

Definitions of larceny

n the act of taking something from someone unlawfully

stealing, theft, thievery, thieving
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breach of trust with fraudulent intent
larceny after trust rather than after unlawful taking
defalcation, embezzlement, misapplication, misappropriation, peculation
the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to your care but actually owned by someone else
the act of stealing small amounts or small articles
shoplifting, shrinkage
the act of stealing goods that are on display in a store
larceny by threat of violence
biological theft; illegal collection of indigenous plants by corporations who patent them for their own use
grand larceny, grand theft
larceny of property having a value greater than some amount (the amount varies by locale)
petit larceny, petty, petty larceny
larceny of property having a value less than some amount (the amount varies by locale)
failure to declare income in order to avoid paying taxes on it
the stealing of cattle
an attempt by speculators to defraud investors
the act of plundering (especially the embezzlement of goods on shipboard)
armed robbery, heist, holdup, stickup
robbery at gunpoint
caper, job
a crime (especially a robbery)
dacoity, dakoity
robbery by a gang of armed dacoits
heist, rip-off
the act of stealing
highjacking, hijacking
robbery of a traveller or vehicle in transit or seizing control of a vehicle by the use of force
highway robbery
robbery of travellers on or near a public road
the act of robbing a helpless person
Type of:
a serious crime (such as murder or arson)

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