verb (used with object), robbed, rob·bing.

  1. to take something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence; steal from.
  2. to deprive (someone) of some right or something legally due: They robbed her of her inheritance.
  3. to plunder or rifle (a house, shop, etc.).
  4. to deprive of something unjustly or injuriously: The team was robbed of a home run hitter when the umpire called it a foul ball. The shock robbed him of his speech.
  5. Mining. to remove ore or coal from (a pillar).

verb (used without object), robbed, rob·bing.

  1. to commit or practice robbery.
  1. rob Peter to pay Paul, to take something from one person or thing to pay one’s debt or hypothetical debt to another, as to sacrifice one’s health by overworking.

verb robs, robbing or robbed

  1. (tr) to take something from (someone) illegally, as by force or threat of violence
  2. to plunder (a house, shop, etc)
  3. (tr) to deprive unjustlyto be robbed of an opportunity

late 12c., from Old French rober “rob, steal, pillage, ransack, rape,” from West Germanic *rauba “booty” (cf. Old High German roubon “to rob,” roub “spoil, plunder;” Old English reafian, source of the reave in bereave), from Proto-Germanic *raubon “to rob,” from PIE *reup-, *reub- “to snatch” (see rip (v.)).

Lord, hou schulde God approve þat þou robbe Petur, and gif þis robbere to Poule in þe name of Crist? [Wyclif, c.1380]

To rob the cradle is attested from 1864 in reference to drafting young men in the American Civil War; by 1949 in reference to seductions or romantic relationships with younger persons. Related: Robbed; robbing.

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