Open main menu

Wiktionary β



The Fortune Teller (c. 1630) by Georges de la Tour, from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA. The painting depicts a wealthy young man having his fortune read by a gypsy fortune teller (right), while unaware that his coin purse is being filched from his pocket (left) and a medal he is wearing is being cut from its chain (centre).


From Middle English filchen (to pilfer, to steal). The further origin of the word is uncertain, but it is perhaps related to Old English fylċian (to marshal troops) and Old English ġefylċe (band of men, army, host), which would make it related to folk.



filch (third-person singular simple present filches, present participle filching, simple past and past participle filched)

  1. (transitive) To illegally take possession of (especially items of low value); to pilfer, to steal.
    Hey, someone filched my wallet!


Derived termsEdit



filch (plural filches)

  1. Something which has been filched or stolen.
  2. An act of filching; larceny, theft.
  3. (obsolete) A person who filches; a filcher, a pilferer, a thief.
  4. (obsolete) A hooked stick used to filch objects.