Last modified on 31 January 2015, at 17:24




Anglo-Norman purloigner, one of the variants of Old French porloignier.



purloin (third-person singular simple present purloins, present participle purloining, simple past and past participle purloined)

  1. (transitive) To take the property of another, often in breach of trust; to appropriate wrongfully; to steal.
    • Milton
      Had from his wakeful custody purloined / The guarded gold.
    • 1900, One Who Was in It, chapter 8, Kruger's Secret Service, page 168-169:
      Probably my acquaintance, Mr Blank, therefore, would have been able, if he had so wished to do, to purloin the papers which he mentioned.
  2. (intransitive) To commit theft; to thieve.
    • 2006 [1622], William Gouge, Of Domestical Duties, ISBN 1430309598, page 454:
      The Apostle expressly forbiddeth servants to purloin (Titus 2:10).