Part of speech: verb

To take by petty theft; practise petty stealing.

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Usage examples "pilfer":

  1. " If," says he, " the negro is informed, that if he does not steal, he shall receive rice as an allowance; and if he does steal, he shall not, a motive is held out which will counteract the temptation to pilfer." - "The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus", American Anti-Slavery Society.
  2. He does not eat so many cherries as our old friend the robin, though his depredations are more conspicuous, for whereas the robins in ones and twos will pilfer steadily from many trees for many days without attracting notice, a crowd of starlings is occasionally observed to descend en masse upon a single tree and strip it in a few hours. - "Bird-Neighbors", Blanchan, Neltje.
  3. Some of the men had lost their all, and had, by the general consent of those who had won their wealth, been banished to a certain distance that they might not pilfer from them. - "The Phantom Ship", Captain Frederick Marryat.