pilfer pil‧fer [ˈpɪlfə ǁ -ər] verb [transitive]
to steal small amounts of things, or things that are not worth much, especially from an office, factory etc:

• An employee has been charged with pilfering a set of automobile wheels.

— pilfering noun [uncountable] :

• Stationery stocks are running 15% below last year's levels, mostly due to pilfering.

— pilferage noun [uncountable] :

• Losses from employee pilferage are estimated at $8 billion.

* * *

pilfer UK US /ˈpɪlfər/ verb [I or T]
to steal things that are not worth much money, especially from the place where you work: »

He was caught pilfering stationery more than once.

to steal money, ideas, information, etc. from an organization: »

They were charged with conspiracy to pilfer $600m from a major international conglomerate.


U.S. officials claimed the plane's electronic surveillance equipment had been thoroughly examined and pilfered by their military.

pilferage noun [U]

Closed circuit TVs have helped reduce the levels of pilferage experienced by retailers.

pilfering noun [U]

His pilfering of the fund landed him in prison and destroyed his political career.

See Note STEAL(Cf. ↑steal)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pilferage — index larceny, misappropriation, theft Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 pilferage …   Law dictionary

  • pilferage — (n.) 1620s, from PILFER (Cf. pilfer) + AGE (Cf. age) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pilferage — [pil′fər ij] n. 1. the act or practice of pilfering 2. something pilfered …   English World dictionary

  • pilferage — noun A recurrent theft of small items of little value. Still, there is pilferage, mysterious discrepancies eating into the percentages …   Wiktionary

  • pilferage — pilfer ► VERB ▪ steal (things of little value). DERIVATIVES pilferage noun. ORIGIN Old French pelfrer to pillage …   English terms dictionary

  • pilferage — noun see pilfer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pilferage — /pil feuhr ij/, n. 1. the act or practice of pilfering; petty theft. 2. something that is pilfered. [1620 30; PILFER + AGE] * * * …   Universalium

  • pilferage — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun The crime of taking someone else s property without consent: larceny, steal, theft, thievery. Slang: rip off. See CRIMES …   English dictionary for students

  • pilferage — pil·fer·age || pɪlÉ™rɪdÊ’ n. theft, act of stealing; act of dragging, act of pulling …   English contemporary dictionary

  • pilferage — pil·fer·age …   English syllables