steal (one's) thunder

(redirected from steal his thunder)

steal (one's) thunder

1. To garner the attention or praise that one had been expecting or receiving for some accomplishment, announcement, etc. My brother is the star athlete of our high school, so no matter what I succeed in, he's constantly stealing my thunder. We were about to announce our engagement when Jeff and Tina stole our thunder and revealed that they were going to have a baby.
2. To steal one's idea, plan, or intellectual property and use it for profit or some benefit. We had the idea for "digital paper" years ago, but I see they've stolen our thunder and have their own version of it on the market.
See also: steal, thunder

steal someone's thunder

Fig. to lessen someone's force or authority. What do you mean by coming in here and stealing my thunder? I'm in charge here! someone stole my thunder by leaking my announcement to the press.
See also: steal, thunder

steal someone's thunder

Use or appropriate another's idea, especially to one's advantage, as in It was Harold's idea but they stole his thunder and turned it into a massive advertising campaign without giving him credit . This idiom comes from an actual incident in which playwright and critic John Dennis (1657-1734) devised a "thunder machine" (by rattling a sheet of tin backstage) for his play, Appius and Virginia (1709), and a few days later discovered the same device being used in a performance of Macbeth, whereupon he declared, "They steal my thunder."
See also: steal, thunder

steal someone's thunder

If someone steals your thunder, they do something that stops you from getting attention or praise, often by doing something better or more exciting than you, or by doing what you had intended to do before you can do it. It's too late for rivals to take advantage. They couldn't steal our thunder. Note: You can also say that someone steals the thunder from you. I think O'Connor will steal some of the thunder from Read, as his book is out first. Note: This expression may come from an incident in the early 18th century. A British playwright, John Dennis, invented a new way of making the sound of thunder for his play `Appius and Virginia'. However, the play was unsuccessful and soon closed. Soon afterwards, Dennis went to see a production of `Macbeth' by another company and found that they had stolen his idea for making thunder sounds. He is said to have jumped up and accused them of stealing his thunder.
See also: steal, thunder

steal someone's thunder

win praise for yourself by pre-empting someone else's attempt to impress.
The critic and playwright John Dennis ( 1657–1734 ) invented a new method of simulating the sound of thunder in the theatre, which he employed in his unsuccessful play Appius and Virginia. Shortly after his play had finished its brief run, Dennis attended a performance of Macbeth in which the improved thunder effect was used, and he is reported to have exclaimed in a fury: ‘Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder.’
See also: steal, thunder

steal somebody’s ˈthunder

spoil somebody’s attempt to surprise or impress, by doing something first: He had planned to tell everyone about his discovery at the September meeting, but his assistant stole his thunder by talking about it beforehand.In the eighteenth century, the writer John Dennis invented a machine that made the sound of thunder for use in his new play. The play was not a success, and was taken off and replaced by another play. When Dennis went to see the other play, he was angry to hear his thunder machine being used and complained that ‘...they will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder’.
See also: steal, thunder

steal (someone's) thunder

To use, appropriate, or preempt the use of another's idea, especially to one's own advantage and without consent by the originator.
See also: steal, thunder
References in periodicals archive ?
FORMARTINE star Stuart Anderson netted the first treble of his career then watched Cammy Keith come off the bench to steal his thunder with a hat-trick of his own in the 6-0 win over Huntly.
And while I don't want to steal his thunder, can I also draw your attention to the latest scribblings of the august Mr Brocklebank, on page 22?
Those hoping to steal his thunder include Cheltenham Gold Cup sixth Roll Along, now under the care of Nigel Twiston-Davies.
And the middleweight does not want amateur world champ Gavin and Beijing team - mate Saunders to steal his thunder on his big night.
WILL Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings run away with the prize thanks to the film trilogy's current popularity,or will a Bronte steal his thunder with Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre?
DAVE Rainey squandered two glorious chances to win the tag of supersub for Glentoran - and allowed opposite number Brian Russell to steal his thunder.
PAUL LAWSON just knew Michael Gardyne would steal his thunder when his second strike ripped the net against Albion Rovers.
LEE CATTERMOLE was handed his Wigan debut but had to watch fellow signing Daniel De Ridder steal his thunder as the Latics hit Barnsley for six last night.
Button has now gone 108 races without breaking his Grand Prix duck and Whitmarsh believes McLaren protege Hamilton could steal his thunder. He said: "I think he could win a grand prix before Jenson.
Close season signing Stewart tested Scunthorpe keeper Mark Samways to the full, only to see Andy Payton steal his thunder with Huddersfield's first goal on 24 minutes.
Amid grumbles of discontent, and with the still-popular Charles Kennedy threatening to steal his thunder, Sir Ming's first conference as leader seems likely to end as an end-of-pier farce.
Its plot may seem familiar but the actors make a great job of the script, with Laurence Fishburne playing the older biker while Derek Luke sets out to steal his thunder.