den of thieves, a

den of thieves

1. A group of people engaged in or suspected of illegal, immoral, or underhanded activities. Our state's economy is never going to recover as long as we've got this den of thieves running the show.
2. A place in which such activities take place or are suspected. A: "I just heard that FlemCorp is being accused of embezzling nearly half a billion dollars!" B: "Are you surprised? Everyone knows that place is a den of thieves."
See also: den, of, thief
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

den of thieves, a

A group of individuals or a place strongly suspected of underhanded dealings. This term appears in the Bible (Matthew 21:13) when Jesus, driving the moneychangers from the Temple, said, “My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Daniel Defoe used the term in Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, and by the late eighteenth century it was well known enough to be listed with other collective terms such as “House of Commons” in William Cobbett’s English Grammar in a discussion of syntax relating to pronouns.
See also: den, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It takes considerably longer than 96 minutes to carry out the two explosive heists that bookend Den Of Thieves, a bullet-riddled yarn of rule-bending cops and taunting criminals.
It takes considerably longer than 96 minutes to carry out the two explosive heists that bookend Den Of Thieves, a bullet-riddled yarn of rule-bending cops and taunting criminals that lacks the lip-smacking promise of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino's first shared screen time.