verb (used with object)

  1. to steal (especially something of small value); pilfer: to filch ashtrays from fancy restaurants.


  1. (tr) to steal or take surreptitiously in small amounts; pilfer

“steal,” 1560s, slang, perhaps from c.1300 filchen “to snatch, take as booty,” of unknown origin. Liberman says filch is probably from German filzen “comb through.” Related: Filched; filching.

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