thief

(redirected from thieves)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to thieves: thrive

like a thief in the night

In a swift and secretive, stealthy, or surreptitious manner. The cancer spread through my lungs and into my bones like a thief in the night, giving me no chance of beating it.
See also: like, night, thief

Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.

Prov. Truly expert criminals are never caught. Everyone's making such a fuss because they convicted that bank robber, but he must not have been a very dangerous criminal. Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.
See also: but, escape, great, little, one, thief

Opportunity makes a thief.

Prov. Anyone would steal, given a chance to do so without being punished. Mr. Cooper thought of himself as a moral man. But opportunity makes a thief, and with the safe unguarded he had the opportunity to steal thousands of dollars undetected.
See also: make, opportunity, thief

Procrastination is the thief of time.

Prov. If you put off doing what you ought to do, you will end up not having enough time to do it properly. Jim: Have you started looking for a job yet? Jane: Oh, that can wait till tomorrow. Jim: Procrastination is the thief of time.
See also: of, thief, time

Set a thief to catch a thief.

Prov. The best person to catch a thief is another thief, because he or she knows how thieves think. The government set a thief to catch a thief, hiring a stockbroker convicted of fraudulent practices to entrap the stockbroker they were investigating for fraud.
See also: catch, set, thief

There is honor among thieves.

Prov. Criminals do not commit crimes against each other. The gangster was loyal to his associates and did not tell their names to the police, demonstrating that there is honor among thieves.
See also: among, honor, thief

*thick as thieves

Cliché very close-knit; friendly; allied. (Thick = close and loyal. *Also: as ~.) Mary, Tom, and Sally are as thick as thieves. They go everywhere together. Those two families are thick as thieves.
See also: thick, thief

be as thick as thieves

  (old-fashioned)
if two people are thick as thieves, they are close friends I'm sure she tells Ruth what's going on - they're as thick as thieves, those two.
See also: thick, thief

it takes one to know one

The person who expressed criticism has similar faults to the person being criticized. This classic retort to an insult dates from the early 1900s. For example, You say she's a terrible cook? It takes one to know one! For a synonym, see pot calling the kettle black. A near equivalent is the proverbial it takes a thief to catch a thief, meaning "no one is better at finding a wrongdoer than another wrongdoer." First recorded in 1665, it remains current.
See also: know, one, take

thick as thieves

Intimate, closely allied, as in The sisters-in-law are thick as thieves. This term uses thick in the sense of "intimate," a usage that is obsolete except in this simile. [Early 1800s]
See also: thick, thief
References in classic literature ?
Encountering the King of the Thieves in his path, he clapped him on the shoulder with something between a caress and a buffet and gave him a push that sent him staggering away.
In short," said Muscari, "to the real Paradise of Thieves.
SAO PAULO (CyHAN)- Thieves had an unexpected surprise soon after stole the bicycles at a park in South American countries of Brazil.
The first incident of theft reported in the jurisdiction of Gulbahar Police Station whereas, unidentified thieves had stolen 0.
LONGLEY: Monday June 22 - Thieves unscrewed hinges on shed door, entered and stole petrol and strimmer.
SPECIAL 'stinger' bikes are being used to catch out cycle thieves.
Experian s ProtectMyID and The Identity Theft Council worked together to launch a disturbing new documentary, In The Company of Thieves, that chronicles the exploits of several notorious identity thieves and how they were brought to justice, available at http://thieves.
When the tired gardener slept during harvest The thieves stole the fruits If you do not have any property in your house Do not wonder since you are asleep and the thieves stole your house There are many thieves on the way Be careful and never let they steal your ride
POLICE in Sunderland are paying a visit to known thieves and burglars in the run-up to Christmas to warn them against offending.
Patna: Magnanimous thieves liberally spent money on the city's poor in typical Robinhood style shortly after stealing Rs30 million from the house of an Indian politician in Bihar.
GARDENERS have been warned to be prepared for thieves this summer.
Commissioner of Cueibet County Isaac Mayom Malek said that he try to liberate his county from cattle thieves before Christmas celebrations begin in late December.
AN ARMED robbery took place yesterday morning at a co-op in Ypsonas, Limassol, as two thieves escaped with over e1/46,000.
As you (traders) have said that traders are portrayed as thieves nowadays, who is not a thief in this era?
A WARNING has been issued to thieves after a spate of cable thefts from street lights.