steal / stēl/ • v. (past stole / stōl/ ; past part. sto·len / ˈstōlən/ ) 1. [tr.] take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it: thieves stole her bicycle| [intr.] she was found guilty of stealing from her employers | [as adj.] (stolen) stolen goods. ∎ dishonestly pass off (another person's ideas) as one's own: accusations that one group had stolen ideas from the other were soon flying. ∎ take the opportunity to give or share (a kiss) when it is not expected or when people are not watching: he was allowed to steal a kiss in the darkness. ∎ (in various sports) gain (an advantage, a run, or possession of the ball) unexpectedly or by exploiting the temporary distraction of an opponent. ∎ Baseball (of a base runner) advance safely to (the next base) by running to it as the pitcher begins the delivery: Rickey stole third base. ∎ attract the most notice in (a scene or a theatrical production) while not being the featured performer: why not be a big ham, and steal as many scenes as possible.2. [intr.] move somewhere quietly or surreptitiously: he stole down to the kitchen | fig. a delicious languor was stealing over her. ∎ [tr.] direct (a look) quickly and unobtrusively: he stole a furtive glance at her.• n. [in sing.] 1. inf. a bargain: for $5 it was a steal.2. an act of stealing something: New York's biggest art steal. ∎ an idea taken from another work. ∎ Baseball an act of stealing a base.PHRASES: steal someone blindsee blind.steal a march on gain an advantage over (someone), typically by acting before they do: stores that open on Sunday are stealing a march on their competitors.steal someone's heart win someone's love.steal the show attract the most attention and praise.steal someone's thunder win praise for oneself by preempting someone else's attempt to impress.DERIVATIVES: steal·er n. [in comb.] a sheep-stealer.