steal (one's) thunder

(redirected from stole 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 ?
She dismissed suggestions Labour had stole their thunder, dismissing their proposals as a "watered down" version of what the Greens are offering.
Little Mix, kept back until the last half-hour, were the headline act but one of the lesser names almost stole their thunder as Craig Colton's sensitive and touching treatment of the song Jar of Hearts got the biggest cheer of the night.
Heidar Helguson's late equaliser stole their thunder somewhat, only for Dons boss Karl Robinson to snatch it right back.
And the former Cheshire professional, who teaches at German club Hude, stole their thunder with a two shot victory over Ashton-in-Makerfield European Senior Tour player Peter Allan.
Christ The King Ladies briefly went top with 8-1 winner Over The Storm - until Dickens stole their thunder in the next race - and seven clubs sided with 12-1 winner Kadara - The Three Cs, Radar, Newton Slapheads, Coventry Schools PAFA, Taffs Trotters, Newdigate B and WCC Staff Bowls.
But Chris Tarrant and his producers were the first to offer a seven figure sum, it was Chris Evans who stole their thunder by giving away the first pounds 1million prize on his TFI show in 1999.
The Wolves unveiled the 19-year-old at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, although Salford stole their thunder by announcing the deal at the weekend.