Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Theft

What is the dictionary definition of Theft?

Dictionary Definition

the act of taking something from someone unlawfully.

The act of stealing property.

Full Definition of Theft

Theft is an unlawful felonious taking away of another man’s movable and personal goods, against the will of the owner.

Whosoever intending to take dishonesty any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves such property in order to such taking is said to commit theft. A thing, so long as it is attached to the earth, not being movable property, is not the subject of theft but it becomes capable of being the subject of theft as soon as it is severed from the earth. A moving affected by the same act which affects the severance may be a theft. A person is said to cause a thing to move by removing an obstacle which prevented it from moving, or by separating it from any other thing, as well as by actually moving it. A person, who by any means causes an animal to move, is said to move the animal, and to move everything which, in consequences of the motion so caused, is moved by that animal. The consent mentioned in the definition may be expressed or implied and may be given either by the person in possession or by any person having for that purpose authority either express or implied.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Theft. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 12, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Theft. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: July 12, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Theft. Retrieved July 12, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Theft are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 27th March, 2020 | 0 Views.