Hypertext Webster Gateway: "thief"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Waster \Wast"er\, n. [OE. wastour, OF. wasteor, gasteor. See
{Waste}, v. t.]
1. One who, or that which, wastes; one who squanders; one who
consumes or expends extravagantly; a spendthrift; a

He also that is slothful in his work is brother to
him that is a great waster. --Prov. xviii.

Sconces are great wasters of candles. --Swift.

2. An imperfection in the wick of a candle, causing it to
waste; -- called also a {thief}. --Halliwell.

3. A kind of cudgel; also, a blunt-edged sword used as a

Half a dozen of veneys at wasters with a good fellow
for a broken head. --Beau. & Fl.

Being unable to wield the intellectual arms of
reason, they are fain to betake them unto wasters.
--Sir T.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Thief \Thief\ (th[=e]f), n.; pl. {Thieves} (th[=e]vz). [OE.
thef, theef, AS. [thorn]e['o]f; akin to OFries. thiaf, OS.
theof, thiof, D. dief, G. dieb, OHG. diob, Icel.
[thorn]j[=o]fr, Sw. tjuf, Dan. tyv, Goth. [thorn]iufs,
[thorn]iubs, and perhaps to Lith. tupeti to squat or crouch
down. Cf. {Theft}.]
1. One who steals; one who commits theft or larceny. See

There came a privy thief, men clepeth death.

Where thieves break through and steal. --Matt. vi.

2. A waster in the snuff of a candle. --Bp. Hall.

{Thief catcher}. Same as {Thief taker}.

{Thief leader}, one who leads or takes away a thief.

{Thief taker}, one whose business is to find and capture
thieves and bring them to justice.

{Thief tube}, a tube for withdrawing a sample of a liquid
from a cask.

{Thieves' vinegar}, a kind of aromatic vinegar for the sick
room, taking its name from the story that thieves, by
using it, were enabled to plunder, with impunity to
health, in the great plague at London. [Eng.]

Syn: Robber; pilferer.

Usage: {Thief}, {Robber}. A thief takes our property by
stealth; a robber attacks us openly, and strips us by
main force.

Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by
night. --Shak.

Some roving robber calling to his fellows.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n : a criminal who takes property belonging to someone else with
the intention of keeping it or selling it [syn: {stealer}]

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