steal (one's) thunder

(redirected from steal their 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 ?
And the couple have other problems as Violet (Frances de la Tour) is determined to steal their thunder.
Let's just hope Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council doesn't attempt to steal their thunder come opening day.
A criminal mob whose reach was so powerful that it brought down the last prewar government of the Netherlands is the nominal subject of "The Gang of Oss," though more than once, a leggy leading lady tries to steal their thunder. Dutch scribe-helmer Andre van Duren's impeccably styled period piece, set in the 1930s Catholic south, uncomfortably oscillates between grubby group portrait and sexy closeups, much as its characters are torn between crime and a life of God-fearing decency.
Mike Knudson's RAYMOND & GRAHAM: COOL CAMPERS (9780670012060, $14.99) receives Stacy Curtis' inviting drawings and tells of best friends who are slated to be the 'coolest' kids in camp--until they meet up with strange bunkmates who may steal their thunder. Readers in grades 3-5 will find this a fun camping tale packed with hilarious events.
Yet the American's have tried to steal their thunder by releasing their list of the top 10 most popular breeds in the US last year.
"They want to make announcement tomorrow, so we don't want to steal their thunder.
ALL eyes will be on Championship hotshots Freddy Eastwood and Michael Chopra in Essex, but a centre-back could steal their thunder when Southend host Cardiff at Roots Hall today.
"They don't want you to clash with the winner of the show or steal their thunder. It's tough as I'm ready to go."
One way to steal their thunder would be to insist that new foreign partners give Bolivia more than 18% royalties from the now-defunct gas pipeline project and then vow to spend the profits on improving health, education and bringing running water and electricity to rural areas.
And Bob arrives back for Donna and Marlon's engagement party, only to steal their thunder by announcing that Viv has been arrested in the Caribbean for possession of drugs.
So they must have been delighted that their rival's attempt to steal their thunder proved so humiliating - and gave them the chance to, er, rethink their plans.
Although his friends may be loathe to invite him if he continues to steal their thunder!