A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
        Search Transcribed Entries:


View Scan · View Transcription · from page 798

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 798

To Filch. v.a. [A word of uncertain etymology. The French word filer, from which some derive it, is of very late production, and therefore cannot be its original.] To steal; to take by theft; to pilfer; to pillage; to rob; to take by robbery. It is usually spoken of petty thefts.

He shall find his wealth wonderfully enlarged by keeping his cattle in inclosures, where they shall always have safe being, that none are continually filched and stolen. Spenser.

The champion robbeth by night,
And prowleth and filcheth by daie.
Tusser's Husbandry.

Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
Shakespeare's Othello.

His thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskillful singer, he kept no time. Shakes. Merry Wives of Windsor.

He could discern cities like hives of bees, wherein every bee did nought else but sting; some like hornets, some like filching wasps, others as drones. Burton on Melancholy.

What made thee venture to betray,
And filch the lady's heart away.
Hudibras, p. iii. cant. 1.

The pismire was formerly a husbandman, that secretly filched away his neighbour's goods. L'Estrange's Fables.

Fain would they filch that little food away,
While unrestraine'd those happy gluttons prey.

So speeds the wily fox, alarm'd by fear,
Who lately filch'd the turkey's callow care.
Gay's Trivia.

Sources: Burton, Robert (5) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Dryden, John (788) · Gay, John (51) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Tusser, Thomas (25)

Attributes: French (385) · Verb Active (289)

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Filch." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 8, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/filch/.

johnsonsdictionaryonline.com is completely free to use. Johnson's dictionary is in the public domain, but please respect the hours of work put into this site by linking to it or crediting it. This site assumes no liability for its content or for the content of external sites linked to it, and has no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy or availability.