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A tendency or inclination to steal things. I think the new cashier we hired has sticky fingers, because money has begun disappearing from the till on the days that he's working. Someone with sticky fingers has been taking supplies out of the office.
A propensity to steal, as in You'd better not leave any cash around; she's known for her sticky fingers. This metaphor makes it seem as if valuables adhere naturally to a thief's fingers. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
If someone has sticky fingers, they steal things. One of the staff got sticky fingers and lifted hundreds of millions of dollars from accounts at the bank.
sticky fingersa propensity to steal. informal
n. a tendency to steal. Watch these young kids with sticky fingers who come in here “just looking.”