pillage

To pillage is a term of war that means to take everything of value from a place that you've conquered, but these days, pillage can be used to talk about anyone who takes what's not theirs.

It wasn't enough just to win a battle. A conquering army had to pillage entire cities, taking everything of value that wasn't nailed down. Recently, several European families have won cases in international courts against museums displaying art that was looted by the Nazis during World War II. These families claim that the art was pillaged during the war and that, rather than being displayed on museum walls, it should be returned to its rightful owners.

Definitions of pillage
  1. verb
    steal goods; take as spoils
    synonyms: despoil, foray, loot, plunder, ransack, reave, rifle, strip
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    types:
    deplume, displume
    strip of honors, possessions, or attributes
    type of:
    take
    take by force
  2. noun
    the act of stealing valuable things from a place
    synonyms: pillaging, plundering
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    types:
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    banditry
    the practice of plundering in gangs
    rape, rapine
    the act of despoiling a country in warfare
    looting, robbery
    plundering during riots or in wartime
    despoilation, despoilment, despoliation, spoil, spoilation, spoliation
    the act of stripping and taking by force
    devastation, ravaging
    plundering with excessive damage and destruction
    depredation, predation
    an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding
    sack
    the plundering of a place by an army or mob; usually involves destruction and slaughter
    type of:
    aggression, hostility
    violent action that is hostile and usually unprovoked
  3. noun
    goods or money obtained illegally
    synonyms: booty, dirty money, loot, plunder, prize, swag
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    type of:
    stolen property
    property that has been stolen
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