- Pilfer is defined as to steal a small item.
An example of pilfer is stealing a candy bar from a convenience store.
Origin of pilfer; from Middle French pelfrer ; from pelfre, booty
verbpil·fered, pil·fer·ing, pil·fers
Origin of pilferFrom Middle English pilfre, booty, spoils, from Old French pelfre; probably akin to felpe, frepe, old clothes; see frippery.
(third-person singular simple present pilfers, present participle pilfering, simple past and past participle pilfered)
- To steal in small quantities, or articles of small value; to practise petty theft.
From Middle English pilfre (â€œbootyâ€), from Old French pelfre (â€œplunder, booty, spoilsâ€), of unknown origin. Possibly related to pelf.