Definition of plunder in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpləndər/


[with object]
1Steal goods from (a place or person), typically using force and in a time of war or civil disorder: looters moved into the disaster area to plunder stores [no object]: the invaders were back and ready to plunder
More example sentences
  • One old man, probably the leader of a village plundered by the bandits, stepped forward.
  • His left-wing militias also plundered small farmers in the nation's countryside and hinterland provinces.
  • Over the next three months he systematically plundered the place, keeping the Dutch flag flying to lure more ships into harbour.
pillage, loot, rob, raid, ransack, despoil, strip, ravage, lay waste, devastate, sack, rape
1.1Steal (goods), typically using force and in a time of disorder.
Example sentences
  • The goods were plundered from European lodges.
  • When it was over, the victors triumphantly plundered the goods of their fallen foe, collecting the weapons and trinkets from the bodies of the fallen.
  • Openly riding their horses in gangs of several dozen, at night they set fires, brandish [their] weapons, and plunder residents' goods.
steal, purloin, thieve, seize, pillage;
1.2Take material from (artistic or academic work) for one’s own purposes: we shall plunder related sciences to assist our research
More example sentences
  • It was, however, a highly popular book throughout the 17th century, and its plot material was frequently plundered by dramatists.
  • It is a truth universally acknowledged that a popular novel must be plundered for source material for other media.
  • All the while we, watch as others plunder our science.


1The violent and dishonest acquisition of property: the farmers suffered the inhumanity and indignities of pillage and plunder
More example sentences
  • The six-day exhibition traces the ugly shades of terrorism unleashed in the Valley and the resulting plunder, loot, arson and rape that has accompanied it all these years.
  • He is being investigated in connection with a series of criminal charges ranging from bribery to economic plunder.
  • The invasion was accompanied by the slaughter of thousands of Moslems and Jews, and by the sacking and plunder of their property, which caused poverty and hunger.
looting, pillaging, plundering, raiding, ransacking, devastation, sacking
literary rapine
1.1Property acquired illegally and violently: the army sacked the city and carried off huge quantities of plunder
More example sentences
  • The church is not built on layer upon layer of cultural and intellectual plunder.
  • However, he or the proposed National Security Council would act only if the prime minister was not functioning well and the country returned to the pre-1999 days of loot and plunder by people in power.
  • The plunder included its people, young men and women, sold into slavery to develop new nations of the West.
booty, loot, stolen goods, spoils, ill-gotten gains
informal swag



Pronunciation: /ˈplənd(ə)rər/
Example sentences
  • Ultimately, when we talk about government, we are talking about a bunch of ignorant bullies, looters, and plunderers.
  • When plunderers raided a merchant vessel at anchorage off Visakhapatnam in broad daylight, an armed boarding party of the Coast Guard swiftly responded to a distress signal and nabbed the fleeing pirates after a hot chase.
  • For three days the plunderers worked unhindered and carried away their booty in front of running cameras.


Mid 17th century: from German plündern, literally 'rob of household goods', from Middle High German plunder 'household effects'. Early use of the verb was with reference to the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), reflecting German usage; on the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, the word and activity were associated with the forces under Prince Rupert.

Words that rhyme with plunder

asunder, blunder, chunder, hereunder, rotunda, sunder, thereunder, thunder, under, up-and-under, wonder

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plun·der

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