verb (used with object)
- to steal (especially something of small value); pilfer: to filch ashtrays from fancy restaurants.
- (tr) to steal or take surreptitiously in small amounts; pilfer
1570s, agent noun from filch.
“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.