How Do You Spell THIEF?

Pronunciation: [θˈiːf] (IPA)

The word "thief" is spelled with the consonant digraph "th" which represents the voiceless dental fricative in English. It is pronounced as /θiːf/ in IPA phonetic transcription. The word originates from the Old English word "thēof" and means a person who steals something. The silent "h" following "t" in the word is due to the historic spelling practices of English when the letter "h" was added to words starting with a "t" to signify the voiceless dental fricative sound.

THIEF Meaning and Definition

  1. A thief is an individual who engages in the act of stealing or unlawfully taking possession of another person's property with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. This term is commonly used to describe a person who commits theft as a means of obtaining personal gain or profit. Thieves typically exhibit dishonesty, cunning, and a lack of moral conscience.

    The motivation behind thieving can vary, ranging from a desperate need for basic necessities to more calculated actions driven by greed or personal gain. A thief employs various tactics and strategies to accomplish their illicit goals, such as pickpocketing, shoplifting, or breaking into homes or properties.

    Thieves may be driven by a desire for financial gain, personal satisfaction, or even thrill-seeking. Their actions not only result in material loss for the victim but also often cause emotional distress and a sense of violation.

    To combat this criminal behavior, societies establish legal systems and law enforcement agencies to identify, apprehend, and punish thieves. Depending on the severity of the theft and the jurisdiction, penalties for thieving can range from fines to imprisonment.

    Despite its negative connotation, "thief" can also be used metaphorically or idiomatically, referring to someone who takes or claims something without rightful ownership. It can denote a person who plagiarizes someone else's ideas or work without permission or credit, or even someone who effortlessly masters a skill or concept without apparent effort.

  2. • One who steals.
    • One who takes away the property of another privately without leave, or by violence; one who steals.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Top Common Misspellings for THIEF *

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for THIEF

Etymology of THIEF

The word "thief" originated from the Old English term "thēof", which can be traced back to the Germanic root "*theubaz". This root eventually gave rise to other related terms, such as Dutch "dief" and German "Dieb". The etymology of the term suggests that it has ancient Germanic origins and has been used to describe a person who unlawfully takes possession of someone else's property.

Idioms with the word THIEF

  • Opportunity makes a thief. The idiom "Opportunity makes a thief" suggests that a person may be tempted to engage in dishonest or immoral activities when presented with an advantageous or favorable circumstance. It reflects the notion that some individuals are more likely to succumb to the temptation of wrongdoing when given the chance, particularly if they believe they can benefit from it without facing immediate consequences.
  • like a thief in the night The idiom "like a thief in the night" means to do something suddenly, quietly, and without anyone noticing or expecting it. It often refers to actions or changes that occur unexpectedly or stealthily, catching people unaware.
  • Set a thief to catch a thief The idiom "Set a thief to catch a thief" is a phrase used to imply that a person who has similar characteristics or skills as a wrongdoer may be the most effective in catching or dealing with that wrongdoer.
  • Procrastination is the thief of time. The idiom "Procrastination is the thief of time" means that delaying or putting off tasks leads to wasted time and missed opportunities. It suggests that procrastination can steal valuable moments and prevent productivity and success.
  • it takes a thief to catch a thief The idiom "it takes a thief to catch a thief" essentially means that sometimes the best person to catch or understand a wrongdoer is someone who has engaged in similar behavior themselves. It suggests that a person who has a particular expertise or a background in a specific activity is often the most skilled at recognizing or dealing with others engaged in the same behavior.

Similar spelling words for THIEF

Plural form of THIEF is THIEVES


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