I'm looking for a word that combines "Sneak" with "Steal", like:

  • To sneak and steal

It would be best if it were archaic, but I'd love to hear all possibilities of course. Thank you!


Thanks for the replies so far. I looked up synonyms of steal on google before asking this question, but I missed the obvious second definition.

I will probably just use a synonym of steal, then.

  • filch, pilfer, swipe
    – JeffSahol
    May 26, 2015 at 20:41
  • defalcate, purloin, misappropriate, peculate; all surreptitiously plundered from google in less than two minutes, thus beating the hidden alarm system and escaping before the police arrived.
    – 7caifyi
    May 26, 2015 at 21:18
  • Also 'sneak' is a synonym of 'steal', so you could just use steal.
    – 7caifyi
    May 26, 2015 at 21:24
  • @Christopher not being perfect synonyms, to sneak something means to steal it in a sneaky way, but to steal it does not necessarily mean sneakily, so they could use sneak, but not steal.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jun 12, 2015 at 13:39

4 Answers 4


I suppose stealing is usually sneaky. Perhaps you are looking for a word with the right kind of "shape", particularly one with a hint of the archaic?

I think of "pilfer" and "filtch", "purloin", "snaffle"

Here's a link to some eighteenth century thieves cant; many terms for trickery and thieving.


I would go with burglarize, or the less used burgle.

: to illegally enter (a building) and steal things

If the sneaking and stealing is directly from a person's body, then an apt term would be pickpocket.

Pickpocketing is a form of larceny that involves the stealing of money or other valuables from the person of a victim without their noticing the theft at the time.

  • Pickpocketing is too specific, and burglary does not imply stealth. Both are good words, though. May 26, 2015 at 21:37
  • @kayleeFrye_onDeck: The connotation is stealthy because a burglar usually works in the cover of darkness. But, you are right, I wasn't able to find a term that directly implies stealth except for pickpocket.
    – jxh
    May 26, 2015 at 22:32

I suggest "swipe." It can imply stealing something on the sly.

1825, from swipe (v.). The slang sense of "steal, pilfer" appeared 1885, American English; earliest use in prison jargon:

The blokes in the next cell, little Charley Ames and the Sheeney Kid, they was hot to try it, and swiped enough shoe-lining out of shop No. 5, where they worked, to make us all breeches to the stripes. ["Lippincott's Magazine," vol. 35, June 1885]


  • To "swipe" something almost always implies thievery and stealth. Rarely is swiped ever used in a context that does not involve sneaking. I would definitely choose this answer over the others. May 26, 2015 at 21:32

How about to poach? The word isn't exactly archaic, but the practice of stealing game, usually by night, from private estates does figure in British history. There are some ballads about the practice. For example:

I keep my dogs and I keep my ferrets.
I have them in my keeping.
To catch the hares that run by night
When the gamekeeper lies sleeping.

  • Should "catch" in the poem maybe be "poach"? Doesn't make much sense to me otherwise.
    – MaxD
    Nov 21, 2022 at 18:31

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