thief

A thief is someone who steals something. A thief can be anything from a cyberspace criminal mastermind who steals credit card information around the world, to the petty thief who picks people's pockets on the subway.

Some famous thieves (notice the -v- in the plural) include outlaws of the Old West, like Butch Cassidy and Jesse James, and those notorious bank robbers of the 1930s with the memorable names — "Baby Face" Nelson, "Pretty Boy" Floyd, Bonnie and Clyde, Ma Barker, "Machine Gun" Kelly, to name a few. They were so bold (and so brutal) that their activities became a major impetus for the beefing up of the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover.

Definitions of thief
1

n a criminal who takes property belonging to someone else with the intention of keeping it or selling it

Synonyms:
stealer
Examples:
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Khayr ad-Din
Barbary pirate (died in 1546)
Jean Laffite
French pirate who aided the United States in the War of 1812 and received an official pardon for his crimes (1780-1826)
Sir Henry Morgan
a Welsh buccaneer who raided Spanish colonies in the West Indies for the English (1635-1688)
Bartholomew Roberts
a Welsh pirate credited with having taken more than 400 ships (1682-1722)
Edward Thatch
an English pirate who operated in the Caribbean and off the Atlantic coast of North America (died in 1718)
Dick Turpin
English highwayman (1706-1739)
Types:
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bandit, brigand
an armed thief who is (usually) a member of a band
booster, lifter, shoplifter
a thief who steals goods that are in a store
burglar
a thief who enters a building with intent to steal
dacoit, dakoit
a member of an armed gang of robbers
defalcator, embezzler, peculator
someone who violates a trust by taking (money) for his own use
body snatcher, ghoul, graverobber
someone who takes bodies from graves and sells them for anatomical dissection
graverobber
someone who steals valuables from graves or crypts
holdup man, stickup man
an armed thief
larcener, larcenist
a person who commits larceny
cutpurse, dip, pickpocket
a thief who steals from the pockets or purses of others in public places
literary pirate, pirate, plagiariser, plagiarist, plagiarizer
someone who uses another person's words or ideas as if they were his own
despoiler, freebooter, looter, pillager, plunderer, raider, spoiler
someone who takes spoils or plunder (as in war)
robber
a thief who steals from someone by threatening violence
cattle thief, rustler
someone who steals livestock (especially cattle)
cracksman, safebreaker, safecracker
a thief who breaks open safes to steal valuable contents
snatcher
a thief who grabs and runs
pilferer, sneak thief, snitcher
a thief who steals without using violence
bank robber
a robber of banks
highjacker, highwayman, hijacker, road agent
a holdup man who stops a vehicle and steals from it
cat burglar, housebreaker
a burglar who unlawfully breaks into and enters another person's house
mugger
a robber who takes property by threatening or performing violence on the person who is robbed (usually on the street)
buccaneer, pirate, sea robber, sea rover
someone who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without having a commission from any sovereign nation
wharf rat
someone who lives near wharves and lives by pilfering from ships or warehouses
Type of:
criminal, crook, felon, malefactor, outlaw
someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime

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